Researchers look to limit post-harvest spud losses

Researchers at the University of Idaho are working to tackle post-harvest potato losses. They say as the global population rises, it is vital that harvest losses are minimized or stopped altogether.

“The only way that we have to provide food for this growing population is to reduce post-harvest losses. We cannot cope with numbers of 30 percent of our crop being lost due to diseases and any other aspects during the storage,” said Gustavo Teixeira, Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist at the University of Idaho.

That research is not constrained just to Idaho. He says there has been a lot of interest in his research across the U.S. and around the world.

“We are establishing collaborations in many countries, and this is going to benefit the potato industry in Idaho because we can share information. That’s the most important part of the research. So sometimes one technology does not work here but works somewhere or the opposite. So, the technologies that are working elsewhere that do not work elsewhere can work for us in the state of Idaho,” Teixeira said.

Even during the pandemic, ag economists estimate Idaho potato growers brought in more than $1 billion worth of farm-cash receipts. His research at the University of Idaho was made possible through a $1 million donation.

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