Top 5: Must-reads for Growers

Published online: Apr 01, 2017 Top Five Tyrell Marchant, Editor
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This article appears in the August 2016 issue of Potato Grower

Though we’d prefer to believe you read nothing but Potato Grower, we freely acknowledge that even our best work can only sustain the most voracious information seekers for so long. And while we take great pride in the quality of our publication, we’re not so vain as to turn up our noses at other quality literature.

Ergo, Potato Grower presents the top five non-Potato Grower must-reads, as determined by our esteemed committee (of one).


  1. Notes of a Potato Watcher

Author James Lang traveled the world with the help of the International Potato Center to chronicle not only the biology of our preferred crop, but also its impacts on history, geography, philosophy and society: “[Historically], the potato ended up on the lowbrow side of the crop ledger. That’s because of the kind of people who ate it. The Irish were thought to be lazy and irresponsible, and they ate potatoes. That made the spud undesirable company. But that’s fine with me. One can learn a lot in unexpected places.”

Available from Texas A&M University Press


  1. Control Freaks Blog

Founded and maintained by University of Wyoming weed ecologists Andrew Kniss and Brian Mealor, Control Freaks masterfully blends and reconciles scientific facts with the often strong human emotion associated with such lightning-rod topics as GMOs, pesticide resistance and organic crop production. The Control Freaks website is aptly subtitled “Weed Science in (almost) Real Time,” with updates, opinions and new studies available on a regular basis.


  1. American Journal of Potato Research

The Potato Association of America is “the official professional society for those involved in potato research, extension, production and utilization.” The association publishes the American Journal Potato Research (AJPR) as a means of disseminating the latest information relating to potato science. Articles included in the AJPR are typically highly technical and science-y, but often hold the key for being on the cutting edge of potato production.

Access to AJPR articles is available at


  1. The French Fry Companion

Written by author David Graulich, The French Fry Companion: A Connoisseur’s Guide to the Food We Love explores the phenomenon that is the french fry. What has made it such an enduring mainstay on American menus and dinner plates? Why is a burger incomplete without its salty, starchy, delicious companion? Where can you find the best fries, and how can you make yours better? This is a fun, easy-to-read look at our favorite side dish.

First published in 1999 by Lebhar-Friedman Books


  1. Focus on Potato Webcasts

Though not strictly a must-read, per se, the Plant Management Network’s Focus on Potato series regularly churns out quality presentations from some of the leading minds in the potato world. Topics covered range from disease management to storage preparation to making the most of research statistics.