A Look At HARS Potato Harvest – One Row At A Time

Published online: Mar 27, 2024 Articles
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The University of Wisconsin Hancock Agricultural Research Station (https://hancock.ars.wisc.edu/) has long been known for its excellent potato research. We spent part of a day at HARS last fall and were lucky enough to time it so we could be there during one of the potato harvests.

We followed the potatoes from the field to the shed where they were being x-rayed for standard yield data. HARS farm manager Paul Sytsma explains the process later in the video.

The video is here: https://fb.watch/r43O68tPuI/

The video starts with a partially harvested potato research plot at the HARS in central Wisconsin. The research being done is by Francisco Arriaga who is using a lysimeter to measure water movement in the soil.

While there were several impressive things we saw during our visit, one that stands out is most of what goes on at the Hancock Agricultural Research Station is done by a handful of full-time employees along with several seasonal workers. When we visited the research station last fall crews were busy harvesting potatoes and then sorting them as they worked on a research project for Arriaga, a soil scientist and associate professor at University of Wisconsin.

After watching the potato harvest, done with a single row harvester, we were able to tour a good portion of other areas of the 412-acre vegetable research farm, which has 323 tillable acres of which approximately 50 acres are devoted to potatoes each growing season.