Efforts are underway to plant field trials of U.S. seed varieties in Myanmar, Morocco and Guatemala in early 2018. Potatoes USA purchases U.S. seed potatoes from U.S. growers in multiple states to provide up to a dozen different varieties to each target market which are suitable for their warm climates and have high resistance to common potato diseases. Funding for these trials is primarily from USDA grants to promote U.S. agricultural exports to emerging markets. The first of the three shipments arrived in Myanmar in early December and will be planted during the second half of January 2018 in the main potato growing area of the Shan State.
Potatoes USA Administrative Committee member Steve Streich is leading the delegation to help plant U.S. seed variety trial plots which are required for variety registration. Mr. Streich, a foundation seed grower in Kalispell, Montana, will also share valuable tips with Myanmar growers during his visit to the Southeast Asian nation. U.S. seed potato samples destined for Morocco are scheduled to be shipped in January 2018 and to Guatemala in March 2018. (Source: Potato Bytes, published by Northern Plains Potato Growers Association)