Potato storage is one of the backbones of Idaho’s iconic spud industry. After being harvested, more than 80 percent of the state’s potato crop is stored until it’s needed by processors and other customers.
As Sean Ellis reports for Idaho Farm Bureau Federation in this article, a lot can go wrong during storage and having a good understanding of what goes on during that process is critically important to Idaho’s potato farmers, who collectively produce about 13 billion pounds of spuds each year, which is one-third of the nation’s total potato supply.
Efforts by University of Idaho researchers to improve potato storage technology got a boost recently thanks to a $1 million investment to create an endowed research professorship.
Wayne and Peggy Thiessen donated $500,000 to create the endowment and the Idaho Potato Commission matched that donation. The Wayne Thiessen Potato Research Professorship honors Thiessen’s career in the potato industry and he and Peggy’s long-time support of their alma mater.
The endowment creates a new position for a faculty member in U of I’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences that will focus on the physiology of potato storage, helping support Idaho potato growers, processors and shippers. The endowment will support research needs and provide funding for graduate students.
Source: Idaho Farm Bureau Federation. Read the full story here
Photo: Potatoes are unloaded into a storage facility near Idaho Falls in the fall of 2020. Courtesy and credit Idaho Farm Bureau Federation