“Garber Farms grows over 1,000 acres of sweet potatoes annually. Our average yields over the past 10 years has steadily increased to around 675 bushels per acre. The Foundation seed program provided by LSU has been the core input of our production practices. Its ability to provide Garber Farms with a viral-and disease-free clean plant product has allowed our transplants to have the potential to produce higher yields. In our climate of high humidity and high temperatures, virus and disease pressures are extreme, so we keep our plant production within two generations of the G-1 viral free foundation seed furnished by the LSU Experiment Station.
The clean plant program has given our commercial production the economic confidence to increase all input levels in a constant effort to reach for greater financial returns per acre. While we seldom plant past G-3 seed, when we have tried G-4, it has been obvious that yield potential drops significantly. The quantity and quality decline results in revenue reduction of 25 to 50 percent.
The future of our sweet potato industry is directly dependent on the continuation of LSU's Clean Plant Program. We are grateful for the quality of our research and researchers who provide the underpinnings of our efforts to remain competitive and financially profitable into the future.”
Duane Hutton, sweetpotato packing shed manager, Livingston California
“Clean seed improves yield, quality, shelf life, and packout efficiency of our sweetpotatoes. Yield is 10-20% better with clean seed. Quality makes the produce buyer's business more efficient and pleases their consumers. Sweetpotatoes harvested from clean seed last longer in storage bins. Clean seed sweetpotatoes require less labor to pack. With clean seed we have first class yields; no excuse, top quality; good shelf life; and a smooth packing operation.”
Wade Fleming, sweetpotato producer, Calhoun County, Mississippi
“In 2016, we grew foundation and older sweetpotatoes next to one another in the same field. The foundation sweetpotatoes yielded 100 bushels per acre more in the same field.”
Matt Alvernaz, sweetpotato grower, packer, shipper, Merced County, California
“The cleaner the seed, the less virus you'll have, and the more saleable product you'll have.”