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

Growers at field day

Providing growers and industry partners with current information on management recommendations, pest risks to the current crop, and seeing new varieties are the focus of the annual field days.

The events are held during 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:
    • 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 are lost 
  2. Improving soil quality and health in potato management systems with emphasis on beneficial soil microbial activity, fertility, cover crops and organic amendments
  3. Genetic improvement through variety development and trials for traits to improve
    • Storage management
    • Commercialization
    • Resistance to Colorado Potato Beetle, other insects, and diseases
    • Reduced invertase levels to address acrylamide
    • Consumer taste preference
    • Size profile
  4. Integrated management of soil, seed and foliar borne diseases to reduce vine and tuber rotting in potatoes, in particular addressing late blight and emerging new diseases
  5. Improved resource use efficiency and sustainability in modern potato production (water, phosphorus, nitrogen and calcium)
  6. Development of new weed control management strategies in potato to address resistance, volunteers, variety herbicide sensitivity and invasive species
  7. Monitoring and managing insecticide resistance of Colorado Potato Beetle and other emerging pests
    • Developing alternative managing strategies for current controls
  8. Post-harvest handling of potatoes (controlling storage pathogens and storage issues including new sprout inhibitor development)
  9. Improve the use of technology to better understand abiotic and biotic stress to increase resilience in potato production systems
  10. Investigate the factors that influence stem number and tuber set in potato.These factors include, but are not limited to: ethylene exposure, application of growth hormones, any factors influencing physiological age, thermal time and storage practices that may alter seed age

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

2020 Chipstock Variety Trials

Chipping Potatoes

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

2020 Russet Variety Trials

Russet Potatoes

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

2020 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.