North America, Production/Agronomy, Research

Researchers in the Pacific Northwest working together to solve shared potato industry issues

Potato growers are learning it’s good to combine resources. Potato growers in the Pacific Northwest have discovered working together is more productive, especially when it comes to research that could potentially be good for the whole industry, Rick Worthington of AgInfo reports.

Matthew Blua is with the Washington Potato Commission and says that was the thinking when it came to funding potato research in particular.

“Well, what’s really neat about our research funding is we work with our Potato Commission colleagues in Oregon and Idaho to fund projects together. And, with three commissions, we come up with $1.5-million every year to fund research. One of the really neat things about it is because we fund together, we don’t have researchers that are competing with each other, but they’re more likely to be working together in our region.

We have a lot of the same problems in the three states in the Pacific Northwest. It started about 2013, if I’m not mistaken, and it really was initiated by our breeding program, which includes USDA Agriculture Research Service scientists and scientists from Washington State University, Oregon State University, and University of Idaho, all working together to make better potato varieties.”

Blua says the research gives them much more bang for each state’s buck. Working together helps make potato growing more profitable and sustainable in the long run.


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