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US: West Virginia Department of Agriculture encourages growers to consider potato production

An effort by the state Department of Agriculture to encourage growers to consider potato production has landed at a spot known for its extraterrestrial activity — the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank. The last of six five-acre plots on observatory property was seeded with potatoes last week. The work was done by teams of Pocahontas County farmers using a state-owned planting machine, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reports. State Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick is promoting the potato as a cash crop. Last year 36 growers participated. The agriculture department supplied the machines, potatoes, fertilizer and harvesting equipment. Farmers contribute the land, labor, tractors and fuel, along with half the cost of planting a cover crop after the harvest. More than a half-million pounds of potatoes were produced. More

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