ROBERTS--In Idaho’s billion-dollar potato industry, to get here, Harvest, you got to start here, cutting seed.
At the massive Mikelson Farms in Roberts, they’re cutting seed…and lots of it. Farm manager Andrew Mickelson is doing something novel; in the year of the pandemic, he’s taking his friends and neighbors behind the scenes on his Facebook page.
"Hey guys, the first day of seed cutting here, we're having a blast here. We've already had some breakdowns and things to fix. This year we have something really cool, We designed a return system for our counters, so when one goes down, it automatically returns and takes it back to even flow again, it been really helpful," explained Mikelson on a Facebook post.
Seed prep on Mickelson farm is a huge operation. They grow russet norkotahs, russett Burbank, and chieftan potatoes all sold through the family business, Rigby Produce. They also grow their own seed potatoes under the Yellowstone Seed brand.
"Today, I'm talking to you from where we put the finished seed, so we got it coming on on the trucks back there that you can see. We're up on this pilier up here where we stack it up and we end up with all this seed here," said Mikelsen.
"The reason we do this is our potato seed. One thing you can do with it is that you can cut it and let it heal up before you put it in the ground." On Mikelson’s Facebook page he showed us the dust part of the seed process:
"Today we are looking at the dust. Right now we at the top of the cellar and I'm going to hold the phone over the edge so you can see. In essence what we are doing after we cut them they really wet so we devised a powder that will to suberize them in the process and protect them from fungus and disease," said Mikelson. Mickelson’s
Facebook posts illustrates all the work before planting, Stay tuned to Mikelsons Facebook page for updates from one of Idaho’s best producers.