Faculty across Idaho work on issues such as potato storage physiology and management, plant and soil health, water utilization, variety development and nutrition. The team seeks to better integrate teaching, extension and research programs to aid the next generation of scientists.
The potato research and extension team consists of over 20 University of Idaho faculty members, plus associated technical support staff and graduate students. Their expertise includes variety development, seed management, pest management, storage management, agronomy/soils, food science, nutrition and economics.
Potato work takes place at five research and extension centers, in several counties and on the main Moscow campus. Many programs are conducted in cooperation with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Idaho and other states, and in multistate partnerships with other land-grant institutions.
Over 20 new varieties of potatoes have been developed at the Aberdeen Research and Extension Center which houses the U of I/USDA-ARS potato breeding program. At the Tetonia Research and Extension Center between 3,000-7,000 new potato lines produced by the breeding program are tested and potato seed is grown for the Tri-State and Western regional potato trials. The Kimberly Research and Extension Center focuses on potato production and storage and potato postharvest physiology. Researchers at the Parma Research and Extension Center evaluate the agronomic performance and storability of new varieties and work to improve management practices to increase potato yield and quality. The Palouse Research, Extension and Education Center in Moscow is home to the U of I Seed Potato Germplasm program that supplies disease free germplasm and mini-tubers for domestic and international seed potato growers. Over 300 potato varieties are maintained and propagated at this facility. Researchers in Moscow are also focused on finding solutions to the pale cyst nematode, potato virus y and potato psyllids.