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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this project is to enhance the productivity and marketing potential of crops grown in northern climates. The specific goals are: 1) use potatoes as a model crop to identify the factors contributing to the superiority of the “physiological young seed” phenomenon attributed to seed grown in northern latitudes; 2) conduct research on the ecology and biology of insect vectors affecting seed potato in Alaska; and 3) to enhance water recovery and use for agricultural and fishery production/ processing systems using membrane osmosis.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
To maximize initial uniformity, mini-tubers will be produced arising from a single mother plant using tissue culture. Half of the mini-tubers will be sent to collaborators in Idaho or Washington state and the other aliquot of mini-tubers will be grown out at a seed production site in Palmer Alaska. At the end of the growing season the resulting tubers will be harvested, graded, and stored for the winter. In the spring of the following seasons half of the tubers from each site/state will either be replanted at the other production site/state; the other half will be planted in the same site/state were produced. The experiment/procedure will be duplicated during three consecutive growing seasons. Data on date of emergence, plant growth, yield, and flowering dates will be recorded and compared. Additional research is being done to provide agricultural water recovery systems to potato production and to aid in concentration fishery by-products used for potato fertilization.

3. Progress Report:
Joint research activities planned for the summer of 2012 were cut short due to the closure of the ARS Fairbanks location, however, the University of Alaska, continued the project on the quality of seeds for northern latitudes. Potatoes were again grown and evaluated as the pilot crop under both subarctic conditions in Palmer, AK, and other sites in Idaho and Washington states. Yield analysis is assessing the growth potential of different varieties across multiple years with different climate regimes to aid in the selection of the best germplasm for the state, along with an assessment of potential pest problems, including insect pests and diseases. Per the FY2012 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 2112) passed by Congress and signed by the President on November 18, 2011, the Subarctic Agricultural Research Unit has been terminated and this project will be ended at the end of the 2012 growing season.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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