Potato Harvest Begins & WSPC Elects New Leaders
Starting around July 6 potato growers in the Yakima Valley will begin harvesting reds and yellows, as long as the weather remains cooperative. Towards the end of the month the new crop of russets will begin. Bart Connors, potato grower in the Pasco area, talks about how the crops are looking this year as far as pests and disease.
CONNORS: We have not seen anything at this point other than normal issues. Last year we had a psyllid issue in the southern Columbia Basin. You know, at this point there’s a lot of people doing a lot of scouting. The state organizations, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, are working very closely with growers on a implementation on a scouting protocol. At this point, they found less than five psyllids between two states, but nothing that has prompted any implementation of any programs.
Around June 11, ARS entomologist Joe Munyaneza and his team found 2 potato psyllids in a sentinel plot at Prosser, but these along with a dozen specimens collected in the Yakima Valley tested negative for Liberibacter, the bacteria necessary to transmit Zebra Chip disease.
As of July 1, Toppenish potato grower Bob Halverson is the newly elected Washington State Potato Commission chair, replacing Darrin Morrison who served as commission chair over the past year. Since 1956, the WSPC has provided leadership, innovation, and partnership building to support the Washington potato industry, and finances one of the largest and most comprehensive, potato research programs in the United States.
I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network.