North America, Research

Potato research pact between North Dakota State University and RDO still strong after 25 years

The 25-year partnership between North Dakota State University plant pathologists and the R.D. Offutt Farms of Fargo offers access to current production problems that research can help solve and helps test tools for identifying and counteracting disease pests.

As Mikkel Pates reports for Park Rapids Enterprise, participants say it’s an example of the power of research when private enterprise links with academia. RDO provides some funding for some research dollars, solely, but also hosts research on their farms that is funded by others. The partnership offers access to current production problems that research can help solve and helps test tools for identifying and counteracting disease pests.

Julie Pasche is an NDSU associate professor and leads the research group as the Neil C. Gudmestad Endowed chair of potato pathology. Pasche has held the position for about two years but has been at NDSU for 25 years.

Nick David is the R.D. Offutt Farms Midwest regional agronomist, based in Park Rapids, Minnesota. “One of the biggest values of having North Dakota State University researchers in our fields doing research is we get to work directly with the researchers when they’re interacting with their plots, evaluating them,” he said.

“Part of the battle is finding out what doesn’t work,” said David, who has been with the company for 11 years. “Sometimes, research findings help us make changes to produce a more environmentally friendly and economically sustainable potato — and that’s our goal.”

Source: Park Rapids Enterprise. Full story here, including an Ag Week video
Photo: Real world potato production challenges can be tackled when private growers can link with academic researchers, says Nick David, R.D. Offutt Farms Midwest regional agronomist, based in Park Rapids, Minnesota. Photo taken in Minnesota 2021. Courtesy / R.D. Offutt Company via Park Rapids Enterprise

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