April 12, 2024
Economy

Potato industry report explores financial impact of potatoes on michigan economy


Michigan potatoes bring billions to the economy: Thanks in no small part to the ongoing commitment of PSM and research faculty, staff and students

We caught up with Chris Long, PSM Potato Extension Specialist and a key part of the team that makes potato research possible here in PSM.

How does The MSU Potato Research Team contribute to this industry? “In so many ways this is such a team approach,” Chris said; Dr. Jaime Willbur is working with both the commercial potato industry and seed potato industries in Michigan to manage and mitigate virus infection. She is instrumental in assisting the industry with pathogen management also.  Specifically with Late blight and early blight, but many others as well; Dr. Erin Burns is working to improve volunteer potato management in rotational crops;

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Dr. Marisol Quintanilla is focused on helping the potato industry manage the causal organisms in the potato early die complex with her work in the area of Soil Health; Dr. Kurt Steinke is leading fertility research address proper nutrient management strategies to maintain economic viability while remain an environmentally friendly industry; Dr. Dave Douches’ work with genetic enhancements that are positively impacting the Michigan potato industry ability to produce high quality potatoes for processing and table stock use; Dr. Zsofia Szendrei is research and developing industry standard practices in insecticide us that integrates economic viability, healthy insect protections and environmental stewardship;

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Dr. Younsuk Dong works with Michigan water and weather resources to assist potato producers in the affective an deficient utilization of natural resources such as water and I work largely on variety commercialization and extension and outreach efforts to transfer all this great research and technology to the Michigan Potato Industry. 

Along with this success comes challenges. “As a team we are constantly facing financial infrastructure requirements necessary to foster this research effort,” Chris adds.

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