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Oregon Seed Production and Methods
Oregon seed potato growers provide high quality seed of a number of chipping, fresh market, and processing varieties at competitive prices. Certified pre-nuclear seed potatoes are produced by various in- and out-of-state pre-nuclear facilities. Early generation seed is then supplied to Oregon Seed Growers in various high elevation, isolated regions of the state for increase as Limited Generation stocks according to strict Certification Standards.
Information on available Oregon seed stocks by variety and supplier can be found in the current Oregon Seed Growers Directory. Grower addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses are available on the Oregon Seed Growers Contact List.
Oregon Seed Production Areas
Several areas in Oregon are extremely well adapted to seed potato production because of isolation, natural environment, and grower expertise.
CENTRAL OREGON: Production is centered in Jefferson County near Culver, OR. The average elevation in the area is 3,000 feet. Seed growers in this area have a history of seed production dating back more than 90 years. These growers are well acquainted with the importance of high quality seed. The principal varieties grown in this area are Russet Norkotah, Pike, Russet Burbank, Blushing Belle, Atlantic, and Classic Russet, and various Private varieties.
KLAMATH FALLS/LAKE: Seed production is located in isolated valleys of Klamath County. Elevation averages 4,100 feet. Seed production occurs in Lower & Upper Klamath Lake, Dairy- Bonanza area, and Malin. Klamath County has produced a large volume of seed for over 80 years. Nearly all major varieties of the West are grown in this area. Russet Norkotah (standard, & Selection 3), Yukon Gold, Modoc, GemStar Russet, CalWhite, Chieftain, Dakota Pearl, Dakota Crisp, Carlingford, Red LaSoda, Cecile, Russet Burbank, Dakota Jewel, Sierra Gold (TX1523-1Ru/Y), Pike, Norland, Willamette, Maris Piper, and various Private and “Experimentals” are the principal varieties.
NORTHEASTERN OREGON: Seed in this area is grown in Union, and Malheur counties where it has been produced in these counties for more than 70 years. Elevation in this area is 2,200 – 2,500 feet. The principal varieties produced in this area include Ranger Russet, Russet Burbank, Umatilla Russet, Alturas, Shepody, Russet Norkotah, and Premier Russet. The seed potato growing areas of Union County are now in an Oregon Department of Agriculture Seed Control District.
Seed Production Methods
Procedures and standards for producing certified Oregon seed potatoes, including Certification Standards, are available from The Oregon Seed Certification Service and The OSU Foundation Potato Seed Program. Similar information for other areas can be obtained from state and provincial certification agencies throughout North America (see Seed for WWW listings of Certification agencies and other seed related topics).
Roguing is an essential practice in the production of healthy seed potatoes in all producing regions. It is the process of identifying and disposing of abnormal plants, including tubers and seed pieces. The affected plants may be diseased, another variety, or simply different.
The following links provide useful information on seed production and storage.
What is a Certified Potato? Powerpoint, Text
Roguing Seed Potatoes (OR)
Seed Certification and Selection (ID) -- a general discussion of certification methods and selecting healthy lots
Seed Myths? (ID)
Idaho Center for Potato Research and Education -- seed info and research