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Our Research on Michigan Potatoes


New Varieties

Manistee Potato Variety

Manistee (MSL292-A)

Developed at Michigan State University in cooperation with the Michigan Potato Industry Commission as a variety to be used in potato chip processing. Manistee Data Sheet

Demonstration Storage Facilities

Construction of our first demonstration storage facility was completed in 2000, with a second facility constructed in 2009. The facilities became a reality as a result of funds from Michigan potato growers and through USDA grants. The ability to store at a commercial scale provides growers with the ability to see first-hand the effects of climate variables on potatoes in storage.

Today we continue to test new varieties at the facilities and are also focusing much of our efforts on the long-term viability of potato production in Michigan. Efforts to understand the effects of potato production on soil health, the identification of ways to reduce water usage and identify best management practices for potato production continue to be in our sights.



Field Days



Providing growers and industry partners with current information on management recommendations, pest risks to the current crop, and seeing new varieties are the focus of the annual field days.

The events are held during August at locations throughout the state.


Upcoming Events
Annual Field Days



Research Priorities

The Research Committee of the Michigan Potato Industry Commission annual seeks input from growers, researchers and industry partners in the development of the industry's research priorities. The priorities developed in August of 2017 for the 2018 research season are listed below:

  1. Development of alternative management and detection methods for emerging issues, currently:
    • Dickeya dianthicola
    • Potato virus Y (PVY)

       

  2. Improving soil quality and health in potato management systems with emphasis on beneficial soil microbial activity, fertility, cover crops and organic amendments

     

  3. Genetic improvement through variety development and trials for traits to improve:
    • Storage management
    • Commercialization
    • Resistance to Colorado Potato Beetle and other insects
    • Reduced invertase levels to address acrylamide
    • Consumer taste preference
    • Size profile

       

  4. Integrated management of soil, seed and foliar borne diseases to reduce vine and tuber rotting in potatoes, in particular addressing late blight and emerging new diseases

     

  5. Improved resource use efficiency and sustainability in modern potato production (water, phosphorus and nitrogen)

     

  6. Development of new weed control management strategies in potato to address resistance, volunteers, and invasive species

     

  7. Monitoring and managing insecticide resistance of Colorado Potato Beetle and other emerging pests
    • Developing alternative managing strategies for current controls

       

  8. Post-harvest handling of potatoes (storage issues including new sprout inhibitor development and controlling storage pathogens)

     

  9. Improve the use of weather data to better understand abiotic and biotic stress that takes place in potato production systems

     

  10. Investigate the factors that influence stem number and tuber set in potato.  These factor include, but are not limited to: ethylene exposure, application of growth hormones, any factors influencing physiological age, thermal time and storage practices that may alter seed age

Current Research Projects

Through the work of the Michigan Potato Industry Commission's Research Committee, $170,500 in dedicated research projects are on-going during the 2017 crop year. Below is a list of the current projects, including the primary investigators and university affiliation.

  • Remote sensing to quantify spatial variability of crop nitrogen status and to optimize N fertilizer in potato fields, Dr. Bruno Basso – Michigan State University
  • On-Farm Soil Health Research:  With Special Reference to Bio-Based Systems, Dr. George Bird – Michigan State University
  • Targeted research within Michigan's Upper Peninsula to meet producer's needs and increase growth within the potato industry, Monica Jean – Michigan State University
  • Integrated management of soil and seed-borne diseases and foliar and tuber diseases of potato crops in Michigan in relation to environment and host specificity, Dr. Noah Rosenzweig – Michigan State University
  • Crop rotations and organic amendments to reduce soil-borne disease severity, Dr. Noah Rosenzweig and Dr. Kurt Steinke – Michigan State University
  • Improving resource use efficiency in potato soil fertility and plant nutrition systems, Dr. Kurt Steinke – Michigan State University
  • Building climate variability into models that forecast pest pressure on potato and developing strategies for managing potato pests in the face of extreme weather, Dr. Zsophia Szendrei and Dr. William Wetzel – Michigan State University
  • Enhancing potato quality through genetic improvement and variety development, Dr. David Douches – Michigan State University
  • Improving productivity and sustainability in potato production systems by increasing cropping system diversity, Chris Long – Michigan State University
  • Screening of novel russet varieties for adaptation to a Michigan production environment, Chris Long – Michigan State University
  • Screening of yellow flesh and red skinned potato varieties for adaptation to a Michigan production environment, Chris Long – Michigan State University