Panel Discussion Highlights Potato Data Analysis Made Possible by Medius.Re
Potato experts from around the world gathered virtually last week for the annual Potato Expo. Potato Expo 2021 was initially slated to take place in Texas, but public health considerations related to the ongoing pandemic moved events exclusively to an online format. On Wednesday, January 6, Medius Ag founder and president, Brad Halladay, hosted a panel discussion during a breakout session focusing on the potato industry’s capacity to analyze data from emerging potato varieties through the adoption of Medius.Re.
The panel represented farming operations, research and extension programs, and grower associations. As such the discussion was able to provide several different perspectives on the value of Medius.Re to potato variety development and selection. In addition to Brad, panelists were Scott Pensky, an agronomist for CSS Farms in Dalhart, Texas; Chris Long, program lead for Michigan State University’s Potato Outreach Program; and Chris Voigt, Executive Director of the Washington State Potato Commission. Panelists discussed the emphasis on data both in the context of their daily operations and more broadly as it relates to the industry.
Some highlights of the discussion focused on the value of standardizing data across time and space and the subsequent boost in evaluation accuracy of emerging potato varieties versus historical industry standards. Other comments focused on the vastly improved efficiency in potato data analysis through ease of access, resulting in more time to ask more informed questions. Panelists also noted how the significant improvements in data analysis capacity translates to arriving at the correct conclusion earlier in the variety development process, thereby saving money.
In the past year as in-person meetings have all but disappeared, Medius.Re has enabled its users to stay up to date on new varieties. In some cases, entire events were salvaged by moving to Medius.Re’s online platform. An example of this was the 2020 NFPT Field Day that is usually conducted in East Grand Forks, Minnesota. With the extensive recommendations to avoid travel, program participants were still able to evaluate the varieties in the program. Said Chris Voigt: “We were still able to do our work and do it well.”
Medius Ag is grateful to Potato Expo organizers for allowing us to be a participant in the U.S. potato industry’s flagship event.
To watch the 30-minute breakout session in its entirety, see the video below.