US: Wisconsin tour has all eyes on seed potato business

sb_ct_POTATOES1_101817-1Wisconsin’s Central Sands is known for potato crops that are sold fresh and processed as chips and fries, but there is an important growing area in Langlade County that specializes in another type of potato. “There are about 60,000 acres of potatoes in Wisconsin, and this little Antigo area has about 10,000 acres, and about 8,000 of them are seed potatoes,” said JD Schroeder with Schroeder Brothers Farms, one of about 15 seed potato growers in the county. Schroeder Brothers hosted visitors in September from Marathon County’s Partnership for Progressive Agriculture to learn more about the process of growing seed potatoes. Schroeder Brothers manage 6,000 to 7,000 acres of crops with about 30 varieties and 2,200 acres of potatoes in the rotation. About 80 percent of the potatoes are sold for seed and the remainder as fresh table potatoes. Much of the seed stock grown at Schroeder Brothers was initially developed at UW-Madison. More