Our Research on Michigan Potatoes

New Varieties

Manistee Potato Variety

Manistee (MSL292-A)

Developed at Michigan State University in cooperation with the Michigan Potato Industry Commission as a variety to be used in potato chip processing. Manistee Data Sheet

Demonstration Storage Facilities

Construction of our first demonstration storage facility was completed in 2000, with a second facility constructed in 2009. The facilities became a reality as a result of funds from Michigan potato growers and through USDA grants. The ability to store at a commercial scale provides growers with the ability to see first-hand the effects of climate variables on potatoes in storage.

Today we continue to test new varieties at the facilities and are also focusing much of our efforts on the long-term viability of potato production in Michigan. Efforts to understand the effects of potato production on soil health, the identification of ways to reduce water usage and identify best management practices for potato production continue to be in our sights.

Field Days

Field Day

Potato field days provide growers and industry partners with the latest information on potato management recommendations, pest risks to the current crop, and new varieties. The events are held in August at locations throughout the state.

Industry Research Reports

Includes reports on the various research projects being funded by the Michigan Potato Industry Commission with grower dollars.

Projects range from genetics and varietal development, entomology, pathology, soil health, nutrient response and storage activities.

View past reports here

View the 2021 Potato Research Report

Research Priorities

  1. Development of alternative management and detection methods for emerging issues, currently:
    • Monitoring and managing insecticide resistance of Colorado Potato Beetle and other emerging pests and developing alternative management strategies for current controls.
    • Dickeya dianthicola, Potato virus Y (PVY)
    • Mop Top Virus vectored by Powdery Scab
    • Prepare to control insects (especially Colorado Potato Beetles and aphids) if the use of neonicotinoids is lost
  2. Improving potato production systems with emphasis on beneficial soil microbial activity, fertility, cover crops, water use efficiency and organic amendments in addition to improved resource use efficiency and sustainability in modern potato production (water, crop protection materials, phosphorus, nitrogen and calcium)
  3. Genetic improvement through variety development and trials for traits to improve,
    • Commercialization (taking into consideration size profile, consumer taste preference, reduced invertase levels to address acrylamide, and storage management
    • Resistance to Colorado Potato Beetle, other insects, and diseases
    • Improve the use of technology to better understand abiotic and biotic stress to increase resilience in potato production systems
  4. Integrated management of soil, seed and foliar borne diseases to reduce vine and tuber rotting in potatoes. Post-harvest pathogens control and handling of potatoes (controlling storage pathogens and storage issues including new sprout inhibitor development), in particular addressing:
    • late blight
    • early die
    • emerging new diseases
  5. Development of new weed control management strategies in potatoes to address resistance, volunteers, variety herbicide sensitivity, and invasive species.

Current Research Projects

  • DeDecker, James - Targeted Potato Research Within Michigan's Upper Peninsula to Meet Producer Needs and Increase Growth

  • Quintanilla, Marisol - Management of Verticillium Dahliae Using Bio-Fungicides

  • Steinke, Kurt - Slow-Release Potassium and Impacts on Potato Development and Yield

  • Burns, Erin - Evaluating New Potato Varieties for Herbicide Sensitivity and Investigating Integrated Weed Management Strategies for Potatoes

  • Willbur, Jaime - Improvement of Integrated Management Strategies for Potato Foliar, Seed and Postharvest Disease Concerns in MI

  • Long, Christopher - Screening of Novel Russet Varieties for Adaption to a Michigan Production Environment

  • Long, Christopher - 2021 MI Red Yellow Potato Variety Development

  • Dong, Younsuk - Improvement of Disease Management in Irrigated Potato Fields Using a Real-Time Sensor Monitoring System

  • Douches, David - Increasing Potato Production Efficiency Using Foliar Growth Retardants

  • Douches, David - Enhancing Potato Quality Through Genetic Improvement and Variety Development

2020 MSU Potato Outreach Program Variety Trials

2021 Chipstock Variety Trials

Chipping Potatoes

View statewide and site-specific data on 52 chipping varieties with comparative data from nine different locations in Michigan.

2021 Russet Variety Trials

Russet Potatoes

View statewide and site-specific data on 41 russet varieties with comparative data from ten different locations in Michigan.

2021 Non-russet Tablestock Variety Trials

Red Potatoes

View statewide and site-specific data on 77 varieties including yellow-skinned, red-skinned, round white, and novelty varieties from different locations in Michigan.