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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

2021 Research Priorities

  1. Development of alternative management and detection methods for emerging issues, currently:
    Dickeya dianthicola
    Potato virus Y (PVY)
    Mop Top Virus vectored by Powdery Scab

  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
    Resistance to Colorado Potato Beetle, other insects, and diseases
    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, early die, and emerging new diseases

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

  6. Development of new weed control management strategies in potato to address resistance, volunteers, variety herbicide sensitivity 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 (controlling storage pathogens and storage issues including new sprout inhibitor development)

  9. Improve the use of technology to better understand abiotic and biotic stress to increase resilience in potato production systems

  10. Investigate the factors that influence stem number and tuber set in potato.  These factors 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

Long, Christopher Screening of yellow flesh and red skinned potato varieties for adaption to a MI production environment
Long, Christopher Screening of Novel Russet Varieties for Adaptation to a Michigan Production Environment
Douches, David Enhancing potato quality through genetic improvement and variety development
Willbur, Jaime Improvement of integrated strategies for potato foliar, seed and postharvest disease concerns in MI
Burns, Erin Evaluating new potato varieties for herbicide sensitivity and layering soil residual herbicides for troublesome weed control in potatoes
Quintanilla, Marisol Effect of biological soil amendments on soil nutrient content and beneficial microbial communities and its influence on potato early die complex
Szendrei, Zsofia New strategies for managing Colorado potato beetles in MI
DeDecker, James Targeted potato research within MI's Upper Peninsula to meet producer needs and increase growth of the MI potato industry
Steinke, Kurt Phosphorus use guidelines for potato soil fertility and plant nutrition-year 2
Rosenzweig, Noah Integrated management of soil and seed-borne diseases of potato in MI
Basso, Bruno Developing yield maps in potatoes using thermal imagery to understand how in-season spatial variation of growth affects tuber development and yield