Louisiana State University Ensuring the Future of the Sweet Potato

In *All, Agricultural Systems by Ag is America

The LSU AgCenter Foundation Seed Program has partnered with the National Clean Plant Network as a “clean plant center”, a partnership which began in 2015. In addition to providing about $90,000 annually, the network has helped them share information and foster the development of protocols for virus testing in conjunction with sweet potato scientists from other states. Seed programs provide a stockpile of seeds available to rebuild crop supplies and provide a level of insurance against major crop loss.

This partnership is important because it allows the AgCenter to further ensure that its 10,000-15,000 bushels of sweet potato foundation seed have a minimal chance of carrying viruses. These plants are tested for six viruses, of which four are potyviruses, common on American sweet potato farms. The other two, however, can cause 80-90% yield losses in the presence of standard potyviruses. With the help from these recurring grants provided by the National Clean Plant Network, testing capabilities continually improve as agricultural scientists work to breed better crops.

For more information about this program and Louisiana State University, read more here.

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