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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: USDA-ARS Potato Postharvest Research in the Red River Valley

Authors
item Suttle, Jeffrey
item Lulai, Edward
item Glynn, Martin

Submitted to: Valley Potato Grower Magazine
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2001
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Over 70% of the total U.S. Fall potato crop is placed into storage for year-round use as table stock and to supply the demands of the processing industry. Unlike producers of most other agricultural commodities, a potato producer's efforts continue well-past harvest and often, maintenance of postharvest quality is the most demanding aspect of successful potato production and marketing. In 1998, postharvest losses of the Fall potato crop exceeded 34 million cwt or roughly 8% of the total crop (USDA est.). For the local (MN & ND) crop, these losses can be considerably greater and can exceed 30% of the harvested crop (D. Preston, personal commun.). Research being conducted by the USDA- Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at the Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center is directed toward the development of improved postharvest storage technologies for potatoes through fundamental research on the internal mechanisms that regulate physiological processes critical to successful storage and through germplasm improvement. In this general article, the potato postharvest research program being conducted by the potato section of the Sugarbeet and Potato Research Unit is described in layman's terms. This article serves as an introduction to this unit's research program and is part of an on- going effort to familiarize our customers, partners and stakeholders with unit activities.

Technical Abstract: Over 70% of the total U.S. Fall potato crop is placed into storage for year-round use as table stock and to supply the demands of the processing industry. Unlike producers of most other agricultural commodities, a potato producer's efforts continue well-past harvest and often, maintenance of postharvest quality is the most demanding aspect of successful potato production and marketing. In 1998, postharvest losses of the Fall potato crop exceeded 34 million cwt or roughly 8% of the total crop (USDA est.). For the local (MN & ND) crop, these losses can be considerably greater and can exceed 30% of the harvested crop (D. Preston, personal commun.). Research being conducted by the USDA- Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at the Red River Valley Agricultural Research Center is directed toward the development of improved postharvest storage technologies for potatoes through fundamental research on the internal mechanisms that regulate physiological processes critical to successful storage and through germplasm improvement. In this general article, the potato postharvest research program being conducted by the potato section of the Sugarbeet and Potato Research Unit is described in layman's terms. This article serves as an introduction to this unit's research program and is part of an on- going effort to familiarize our customers, partners and stakeholders with unit activities.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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