In all the work that I do in support of potato and vegetable production in Wisconsin and beyond, I aim to use the research questions as real-world case scenarios for graduate student training.
Wisconsin is the third-largest tuber producer in the country, just behind Idaho and Washington. The state’s growers plant around 70,000 acres of spuds each year, part of a $340.8 million industry, so they stand to lose a great deal should anything go wrong with the crop. Plant diseases such as late blight present a serious threat to potatoes, and a timely response to an outbreak can sometimes mean the difference between boom and bust. Fortunately for potato farmers, Amanda Gevens has their back. As associate professor and chair of plant pathology, Gevens spends much of her time studying and tracking potentially devastating diseases in potatoes and other vegetable crops. She’s also a potato and vegetable pathologist with the UW–Madison Division of Extension, so she’s in constant communication with growers throughout the state, keeping them apprised of the presence of diseases and helping them make the best decisions in protecting their crops. Read more: go.wisc.edu/qnajfq