Wisconsin Potatoes Loads Coming, But be Aware of Quality Questions

Wisconsin Potatoes Loads Coming, But be Aware of Quality Questions

Wisconsin  ranks No. 4 in the nation for potato shipments an estimated 22.32 million hundredweight (cwt) of potatoes loaded last season.   The Badger state growers harvested 62,000 acres of spuds.  The harvest got under way in late August.

Crop quality concerns do exist across the state, and we have a long way to go to harvest conditions for storage,

If you are a produce hauler looking to transport Wisconsin potatoes for the 2012-13 season, there are some potential quality issues with which you should be aware.  This is essential to help avoid potential claims and rejected loads.

Warm temperatures may have triggered heat necrosis (resulting in death of plant tissue due to disease, etc.). Hot soils also may result in black heart (where internal plant tissues blacken).  Furthermore, insect damage [such as wire worm] has been seen that is also triggering defects.    You also need to watch for late blight.  Some early potato blight (a devastating disease of potatoes that caused of the Irish potato famine of the mid- 19th century) has been noted in early August, which is caused by cooler, wet weather.

Most Wisconsin potato shipments orginate from the central area of the state.  From Antigo to the Stevens Point area and southward around Bancroft and Friesland.