Pests and Diseases, Processing, fries, chips, Research

Researchers test chemicals, methods to fight potato diseases

Miller Research FacilityAt one end of the Miller Research building, potatoes were tossed into a large container, making a curt thud. The smell of the starchy crop filled the 5,000-square-foot warehouse. As founder Terry Miller tossed potatoes — some diseased — into the container, support scientist Mark O’Brien sorted through others on a table, grading them per U.S. Department of Agriculture standard. The two are part of a small staff that tests fungicides and pesticides for large agrochemical manufacturers. They try out products on crops — mostly potatoes — grown on the company’s three 40-acre pieces of land. The research center tries to answer: How reliable is a pesticide? How safe, exactly, are the fries people eat? More

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