Virus-free seed Potatoes
Potatoes are difficult to grow organically because pathogens from one
growing season persist in the tubers used as planting material the next
season. Although certified potato seed is readily available to
conventional farmers and gardeners, it is much harder to locate
certified-organic certified potato seed.
SSE was invited to collaborate with researchers in the Department of
Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin
Seed Potato Certification Program (WSPCP) on a four-year project to
identify valuable varieties and increase the number of potato varieties
available as certified-organic certified seed. SSE has supplied a
hundred potato varieties from our Collection which will undergo a four-
to six-month virus eradication process in the Madison laboratory. As
part of the collaboration, several SSE employees have traveled to
Madison to receive training in virus eradication techniques that can be
transferred to our tissue culture laboratory at Heritage Farm.