NPC Hosts Annual Agency Farm Tour in Washington State

Tour designed to strengthen the relationship between agency staff and U.S. industry

This week NPC partnered with the Washington State Potato Commission (WSPC) to host its annual Agency Farm Tour in Washington’s Columbia Basin for USDA and EPA staff.

The annual tour is designed to strengthen the relationship between agency staff and the U.S. potato growing community and educate agency participants on commercial potato production practices, including the real-world use of federally regulated pesticides and Integrated Pest Management. Growers also provide demonstrations on safe handling and proper use of pesticides and the various pieces of equipment used in pest management.

Tour stops focused on the use of potato production technologies, including demonstrations of seed treatment, irrigation-mounted imaging cameras, drone and see-and-spray cameras, fumigation and chemigation equipment, and monitoring devices and models.

Participants included staff from EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP) and USDA’s Office of Pest Management Policy (OPMP).

“It was a pleasure being able to interact with staff from OPP and OPMP and share with them the complexities of producing a high-quality, high-cost potato crop for U.S. consumers and consumers around the globe in an environmentally friendly manner in my community and on my farm operation,” said Grant Morris, Washington state potato grower and member of NPC’s Environmental Affairs Committee. 

The annual event is hosted by the National Potato Council and sponsored by Potatoes USA.

Ed Schneider of Elite Seed in Pasco, Wash., describes the seed cutting and treatment process, highlighting worker safety measures and the importance to producing a healthy crop.
Keith Tiegs of NW Biologic demonstrates fertilizer and pesticide management through chemigation at his farm near Pasco, Wash.
Grant Morris of Schneider Farms shares data on the use of drone scouting tools to aid in pest management as a part of his Integrated Pest Management.
Members from the Warden Hutterian Brethren in Warden, Wash., discuss fumigation and chemigation practices used for the safe handling of products.