The middle of January is a special time of year in Pocatello. It’s the time of year when four-wheel drive, heavy-duty diesel pickups take command of Pocatello’s ice-covered streets and a lot of talk in town is centered on potatoes and potato equipment.
It’s time for the 2019 University of Idaho Potato Conference. The 51st annual conference will convene Wednesday in the Pond Student Union on the Idaho State University campus and concludes Thursday afternoon.
The two-day conference, put on by the University of Idaho’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, brings together all sectors and platforms of the potato industry to discuss a cornucopia of issues facing growers, researchers, producers, processors and farmworkers.
Along with the seminars, more than 100 vendors crowd into the PSU ballroom meeting with growers. UI weed scientist Pam Hutchinson and UI assistant professor and Extension seed potato specialist Kasia Duellman are the co-chairwomen for this year’s conference.
Duellman said that this year, they decided to cut back on the number of sessions offered at the conference.
“(We’ll have) similar sessions to what has been offered in the past but we’ll have fewer concurrent sessions,” she said. “Instead of having four, we’ll have three concurrent sessions and there will be plenty of opportunities for people to earn their pesticide applicator credits and certified crop adviser credits.”