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Bob Larson Potatoes and Technology Pt 1
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: March 26, 2019

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I’m Bob Larson. Changes in agriculture are inevitable, but when you include technology and the rapid pace at which it’s coming at us, those changes are often blurred.

Other changes involve the number of farmers using the technology that, according to National Potato Council CEO John Keeling, makes them more efficient …

KEELING … “We’re continuing to get less and less people involved, less and less people growing more and more acres. And so, the importance of those people to everybody in the industry grows as they become smaller.”

And, Keeling says it’s become possible thanks, in large part, to our fantastic new equipment …

KEELING … “But on the technology side, I was talking with a grower yesterday and he was telling me that they were using infrared sensing to measure appropriate water levels during irrigation and I thought, wow that’s cutting edge. When did you start that, two or three years ago? And he says, no 30 years ago. So, things that to most people, even people close to the industry, would seem like to be really out there in the forefront are things that these guys incorporated a long time ago. Yeah, the level of technologies that they’ve adopted to continue to be more and more efficient.”

Keeling says the change for potato growers has been remarkable …

KEELING … “We’re growing about the same amount of acres of potatoes that we were growing 25 or 30 years ago.

The same amount of acres, and we’re producing three times as many potatoes. So, the productivity of what these guys do, the technology that they bring to bear is impressive.”

Listen tomorrow for more.

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