b'ROUNDTABLE Expert views on best management practices in potato production.Making Potato Storage Easierwith Sugar SamplingSugar content tests allow growers to monitor sugar levels in field and in storage to keep potato crops in the best possible condition for shipping to fry and chip processors. BY: ASHLEY ROBINSONHAL REED Editors note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.agronomy manager with Independent Crop Inputs Spud Smart (SS): Why is knowing the sugar content of your potatoes important?TODD FORBUSH (TF): We need to know what the potatoes sugar profile is in storage, how they do with bruising, and diseases. A factor thats becoming more important as we look to transition our processing variety base is determinant versus indeterminant, or what TODD FORBUSH degree of determinants that potato has. We know Russet Burbank is quite an indetermi-vice-president and storage systemsnant potato, as it sets tubers throughout its life as a plant. Whereas some of the newer engineer with Techmark, Inc. varieties that are coming out are more determinant, which means they have a single set and that set matures together. As you might imagine, from a maturity point of view, potatoes that have a single set are much more predictable in terms of their sugar concen-trations than potatoes that have multiple sets. Testing these tubers at five, three and one week prior to scheduled vine kill or harvest lets us know the chemical maturity of the crop going into storage. This information is a game changer in terms of storage strategy.HAL REED (HR): All of our contracts, at least in Western Canada, are base contracts, which is fine. But its your bonuses that are going to make you your money. How is our gravity? How are our colours? These are kind of the things that will give you the bonus. And its just too valuable not to keep a handle on those kinds of things.SS: Why is stress important in regard to sugar tests?HR: Its really hard to just say these are my potato fields and treat them all the same. Its more specific than that. Of course, field selection is super critical as far as slope and the quality of the soil is concernedis this soil so heavy that its going to be a disaster to try to dig it? These kinds of things all come into play. Irrigation is also key. I had one fellow telling me, You know Im growing potatoes, not fish because he was putting so much water on these fields. So again, this is all stuff that you generally already know Weather being a wild card is something thats really hard to manage. Disease control is also SUPPORTED BY:34 SPUDSMART.COM SUMMER 2020'