Yakima River Oil Cleanup & Nutrient Rich Baby Potatoes

Yakima River Oil Cleanup & Nutrient Rich Baby Potatoes

Yakima River Oil Cleanup & Nutrient Rich Baby Potatoes

I'm Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

The state Department of Ecology has hired the environmental cleanup company NRC to remove 1,500 gallons of used motor oil spilled into Sulphur Creek and the Yakima River from an above-ground storage tank near Sunnyside earlier this week. In a fly-over of the area on Monday Ecology reported that a light sheen of oil could be seen for twelve river miles along the Yakima River between Sulphur Creek and Prosser, but that little was seen below the Prosser Dam. The cause of the failure of the tank is still under investigation. Sulphur Creek is used as an irrigation return drain by the Sunnyside Valley Irrigation District.

Baby potatoes have been getting a lot of good press lately and for good reason. Roy Navarre, research geneticist with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Prosser, has been studying baby potato varieties for five years and has found that immature potatoes tend to have higher amounts of phytonutrients than their mature counterparts.

NAVARRE: We know that some of the antioxidant capacity of the baby potatoes can be very high, especially in some of the red and purple flesh ones; some of those types actually compare to what we might see in spinach or broccoli. The carotenoids - these are in these types of potatoes - are known to promote eye health. So, some of the yellow flesh lines in particular can have higher amounts of those. Chlorogenic acid, which is a polyphenol, that's higher in the baby potatoes. Folic,vitamin B-9 that tends to be higher in the baby potatoes.

Navarre says that all of the roughly 200 varieties of baby potatoes they have studied are phytonutrient rich. Tomorrow Navarre will talk about what the increased production of baby potatoes could mean for growers.

That's Washington Ag Today.

I'm Lacy Gray with the Ag Information Network of the West.

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