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World Potato Congress Presents its Fifth Webinar

The World Potato Congress (WPC) is pleased to be offering its fifth webinar on Oct. 29, 2019, via Zoom in its 2019 series with Dr. Nina Zidack. The topic is “Why You Should Plant Certified Seed Potatoes.”

Zidack grew up on a farm/ranch in Central Montana.  After receiving a B.S. in Horticulture in 1987 from Montana State University, she went on to receive a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology at Auburn University in 1993.  Zidack has served as the Director of Seed Potato Certification at Montana State University (MSU) since 2008.  Her responsibilities to the Montana Seed Potato Program include supervision of all field inspections, both in Montana and for the Postharvest Test in Hawaii, and the administration of activities performed by the MSU PotatoLab.  This includes maintenance of mother stock, distribution of in-vitro plant material to growers, and disease testing.  In addition to the regular functions of certification, the MSU Potato Lab is actively involved in adopting and improving on the latest diagnostic methods available for the identification of potatodiseases important for certification.

Webinar Presentation Description

Each individual process in certifying seed potatoes insures growers can expect reliable quality and maximum yield from their crop.  Through seed potato certification, limited generations are initiated from disease-free in vitro stock.  Varietal purity is maintained through careful auditing and inspection of crops starting from tissue culture through multiple field generations.  Disease status of the crop during the growing season is monitored through visual inspection for virus, bacterial and fungal diseases.  Disease levels are recorded and must remain within specific tolerances.  The most important quality assurance test is the postharvest evaluation that provides the actual disease status of the crop to be planted the next year.  In the United States, post-harvest testing is primarily conducted in tropical areas employing both visual inspection and lab testing for viruses.  In Europe, tubers are tested postharvest using highly sensitive laboratory methods.

The host for the WPC webinar series will be WPC Director, Dr. Nora Olsen.

Webinar Registration

Interested participants can register and will be able to interact with the presenters of the webinar. You can register in advance for this webinar by going to:  https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_NGStcYgASbCjikOfJ_mpGg. Following your registration, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the webinar.

All webinars are recorded and can be viewed via the WPC website at www.potatocongress.org until December 31, 2019.

The next webinar in the series will feature Kris Michiels, Marketing Adviser, VLAM (Flanders’ Agricultural Marketing Board) who will present via Zoom: “Illustration of Regional Potato Promotion: Flanders (Belgium)” on November 14 at 9:00 am Eastern Standard Time.

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