Wisconsin had its weather challenges for 2018. Much of potato ground in Wisconsin received a major snow dump while seed shipping was in full swing and commercial planting season was underway.
The abnormally cool month of April and 18-20 inches of snow delayed frost coming out of the northern soils, truck availability for seed shipping and seed cutting operations for many seed growers.
Despite this, May was one of the mildest in recent years, with relatively low precipitation and warm temperatures. Late May had very high temperatures and early June brought rain, delaying some planting and hilling operations into early and mid-June.
Seed potato acreage planted was up again in 2018, with slightly over 9,300 acres. The increase includes cultivars used for fresh market russets, specialty potatoes and potato chips. Acreage in the certified seed potato program has gradually increased since 2013, up 1,000 acres over that time period.
No late blight was found in the northern Wisconsin seed areas, with relatively low amounts of white mold present, and only in susceptible varieties. Aerial blackleg was also quite low in 2018.
There were no mosaic rejections (PVY >1 percent) for the season, and at the end of season, only a handful of lots were down-classed to certified (PVY .25-1 percent).