In another first this year, NoKota was one of the locations included in a promotional video produced by the North Plains Potato Growers Association in East Grand Forks, Minn.
The association produced two videos, one aimed at consumers and one directed toward retail and foodservice potato buyers. Both videos promote potatoes from the Red River Valley area in North Dakota and Minnesota.
NoKota Packers has links to the videos on its website at www.nokatopackers.com under the “Links” tab.
Specialty crop group launches farm bill site
With more than 120 organizations behind it, the Specialty Crop Farm Bill Alliance launched a website in late November dedicated to increasing understanding and awareness of its efforts on the 2012 farm bill.
The alliance is a national coalition representing growers of fruits, vegetables, dried fruits, tree nuts, nursery plants and other specialty crops. Its new educational website is StrongerAgriculture.org.
The website features downloadable, radio-quality sound bites from industry leaders and news makers, including John Keeling, an alliance co-chairman and chief executive officer for the National Potato Council.
The site also has the alliance’s 2012 Farm Bill policy priorities and recommendations; transcripts of legislation, amendments, testimony and industry comments; and a list of supporting organizations and media contacts.
The alliance website states that specialty crops make up 50% of all U.S. farm-gate value for plant agriculture. Consequently, the alliance contends Congress should increase investments in specialty crops in the 2012 farm bill.
USDA scientist shares tips on zebra chip
A recent finding of zebra chip disease in the country’s top potato-producing state of Idaho has further raised interest in methods of controlling potato psyllid because of its role in the transmission of the disease.
In November, Joe Munyaneza, a research entomologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, worked with “Focus on Potato” to create a webcast to provide information about the biology and management of the potato psyllid. The webcast can be viewed at http://tinyurl.com/potato-webcast.
The presentation was designed to help growers, consultants and other entities in the potato industry understand how zebra chip disease is spread and how to recognize its symptoms.
Munyaneza, who works out of the Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory in Wapato, Wash., also covers how to identify potato psyllids in all stages of development and how to monitor and sample for them.