Subtropical Bundaberg Sebago Potatoes. Source FB / Homestead Markets. Fair use, low resolution image to identify the subject.

Maine Researchers Breeding a Global Warming Resistant Potato

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Researchers in Maine have expressed concern that if they experience a few degrees of global warming, they will no longer be able to grow potatoes. But given Maine potato varieties are extensively grown in subtropical Bundaberg, my question is, what problem are the researchers actually trying to solve?

Researchers try producing potato resistant to climate change

Nov 28, 2021 

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — University of Maine researchers are trying to produce potatoes that can better withstand warming temperatures as the climate changes.

Warming temperatures and an extended growing season can lead to quality problems and disease, Gregory Porter, a professor of crop ecology and management, told the Bangor Daily News.

“The predictions for climate change are heavier rainfall events, and potatoes don’t tolerate flooding or wet conditions for long without having other quality problems,” Porter said. “If we want potatoes to be continued to be produced successfully in Maine, we need to be able to produce varieties that can be resistant to change.”

Around the world, research aimed at mitigating crop damage is underway. A NASA study published this month suggests climate change may affect the production of corn and wheat, reducing yields of both, as soon as 2030.

Read more:

Bundaberg, Australia (24 degrees south, average annual temperature 77F) is a major potato and root vegetable growing region, along with sugar cane, strawberries, pineapples and bananas and who knows what else. Bundaberg experiences lots of tropical rainfall and occasional flooding.

Subtropical Bundaberg actually grows MAINE potatoes. They are no different to the varieties farmers plant or have planted in Maine.

The Subtropical Bundaberg grown Sebago potatoes at the top of the picture were developed by the United States Ministry of Agriculture in partnership with Maine Agricultural Experiment Station in 1938.

What is the secret of Bundaberg’s success with potatoes developed in Maine? Very simple – Bundaberg farmers plant the potatoes in Fall, the plants mature over winter, and they harvest in Spring, before the Summer heat kills them. The closer to the tropics you get, the sooner you need to plant, if you want to grow temperate climate vegetables, until somewhere around 27 degrees from the equator you swing right through winter and start planting in Fall.

My point is the problems of how to grow crops like potatoes in warm climates have already been solved, by farmers who have been growing potatoes in warm climates for centuries. Suggestions that this is any kind of a challenge seem a little far fetched.

There is no remotely plausible level of global warming which Maine could experience in the next century which would come close to Maine matching Bundaberg’s climate. Any warming in Maine could be addressed by simply changing the planting time by a few days, a little drainage work, and maybe importing some Australian tropical potato farming knowhow.

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Dodgy Geezer
November 29, 2021 6:15 am

I thought that it was illegal to think about MITIGATING climate change, and you could get cancelled for doing this?

Surely the CORRECT way to address Climate Change is to erect large screens over all potato fields? And then to put a special Climate Change Potato Tax on all small businesses selling chips?

Rich Davis
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
November 29, 2021 8:07 am

You mean adapting not mitigating, DG. The loons think that stopping CO2 emissions is mitigating.

Your ideas should be kept secret. They may be insane enough to be mandated.

Reply to  Rich Davis
November 29, 2021 10:44 am

The real question, Rich Davis, is whether or not the loons will stop their OWN CO2 emissions, just to save the planet from being fried.

Speaking of fried stuff, hashed potatoes added to chopped corned beef is quite delicious when pan-fried and slightly crusted.

Reply to  Sara
November 30, 2021 3:23 am

add peas onion and serve with tomato sauce;-) cornbeef hash aussie style

Reply to  Sara
November 30, 2021 7:06 am

Thanks for the lunch idea! I have a tin of chili corned beef that I have been meaning to try!

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Dodgy Geezer
November 29, 2021 2:09 pm

Then develop the market for potato chips for biomass burners, like Drax? (dodging for cover)

November 29, 2021 6:16 am

Might be good to grow one that survives cold.

Curious George
Reply to  Scissor
November 29, 2021 7:43 am

“a professor of crop ecology”
Enough said.

Reply to  Curious George
November 29, 2021 8:38 am

a professor of crop ecology and management”

Sounds like an administrator, never a farmer or scientist.

Reply to  Curious George
December 7, 2021 3:16 am

That was a typo– the “o” shoulda been an “a.”

Reply to  Scissor
November 29, 2021 7:53 am

What about “potato equity” ?

Reply to  Neo
November 29, 2021 8:05 am

Equity? With King Edward potatoes?

Reply to  Scissor
November 29, 2021 7:54 am

Don’t potatoes come from the Andes?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  MarkW
November 29, 2021 8:18 am

Yes, on holidays.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
November 29, 2021 9:24 am

nah … illegal refo spuds.

John Hultquist
Reply to  MarkW
November 29, 2021 9:42 am

But your source may vary.

Reply to  MarkW
November 29, 2021 10:45 am

Aldi and Jewel have potatoes.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Scissor
November 29, 2021 7:58 am

Northern Europe experienced two years of potato famines in the 1740s, due to early frosts freezing potatoes in the ground. IIRC about a fifth of the population of Finland died as a consequence. Also widespread deaths in Scotland. Doesn’t it make you nostalgic for the benign pre-industrial climate before humans ruined everything? /s

NB not the same as the famous Irish potato famine of the 1840s, which was caused by a fungal infection.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Smart Rock
November 29, 2021 10:28 am

NB not the same as the famous Irish potato famine of the 1840s, which was caused by a fungal infection.

Yeah, that was late tomato/potato blight. I was hit by it several years ago. It was the best crop I ever had and it was gone within days.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
November 29, 2021 1:22 pm

The joy of gardening {?}.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Roger29palms
November 29, 2021 1:54 pm

For sure, a real shocker when you open a near 2# beefsteak and its all black inside.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Scissor
November 29, 2021 8:11 am

Have you been to Bangor?

Reply to  Rich Davis
November 29, 2021 8:29 am

20 miles away from it myself.

bangor daily has agendas for sure.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Dmacleo
November 29, 2021 2:00 pm

Ayuh, I guess mosta them writahs are from Away.

November 29, 2021 6:21 am

this is part of the 97%, right?

November 29, 2021 6:21 am

There are two strains; one is already cooked by time you dig it out of ground, the other is not good for cooking since it is resistant to temperature rise.

Last edited 1 year ago by vuk
Reply to  Vuk
November 29, 2021 4:07 pm


M Courtney
November 29, 2021 6:22 am

It can’t hurt to increase our variety of crops. Indeed it shows that trying to control the weather through trace gas emission retardation is an expensive folly.

Whether this is profitable or not is less important to an academic researcher. They are doing the fundamental research that businesses can’t afford to do for want of better immediate returns.

This is avoiding market failures in the event of a black swan. This is why we pay our taxes. Proper science.

Gregory Woods
Reply to  M Courtney
November 29, 2021 6:47 am

I think we should be breeding human beings that can withstand any climate change, hotter or colder….

M Courtney
Reply to  Gregory Woods
November 29, 2021 7:55 am

If you mean richer humans who can afford coats and aircon then I agree with you.

Reply to  Gregory Woods
November 29, 2021 8:16 am

“women selected for the breeding process must me of a highly stimulating nature”
–Dr Strangelove.

Reply to  M Courtney
November 29, 2021 8:18 am

Commercially the two top potato producing states are much warmer than Maine and have hot summer weather.

Maine is in 10th place for Potato production, waaay behind the leading much warmer states.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Sunsettommy
November 29, 2021 9:10 am

Potatoes are a huge cash crop in Portugal and grow throughout the country from along the coast where it never gets very cold to up in the mountains which are currently closed due to snow. This is one crop that can be grown successfully almost anywhere in the world.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
November 29, 2021 11:06 am

The nightshade family (solonaceae) is possibly the most adaptable family on the planet. From tobacco to petunias and tomatoes to spuds they’re found in every corner of the world, as you say. “Climate change” simply isn’t an issue.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
November 29, 2021 12:28 pm

Most of the best spuds – Idaho’s grade A bakers – are raised in the middle Snake River Valley, which has a growing season that is about 6-8 weeks longer than in the bitter cold/long winters of Maine. In the much higher elevations of the upper Snake River valley, they grow only seed potatoes that are much smaller, due to the shorter growing season.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  M Courtney
November 29, 2021 9:21 am

They are not doing fundamental research if other already grow the potatoes in subtropical areas. Their only farming skill is farming subsidies and grants.

Reply to  M Courtney
November 29, 2021 10:04 am

You don’t think Simplot is doing its own variety trials? Because they “can’t afford to for want of better immediate returns”? LOL.

M Courtney
Reply to  buggs
November 29, 2021 1:01 pm

I sincerely doubt they are doing this research. It’s very unlikely to be needed.
But if it’s needed they will be very glad that someone covered the high severity / low probability risks,

Reply to  M Courtney
November 30, 2021 10:41 am

Then you would be wrong.

Most potato processors have very active research programs, partnering with university researchers and local grower organizations. Simplot is but one of them, possibly the largest in the U.S.

There are many other processors that engage in this research on an ongoing basis. The goal is perpetually to increase yields and/or mitigate losses. To do so they investigate a wide variety of potential impacts to the potato crop – disease and insect resistance/tolerance.

You seem remarkably naive on how science in agriculture works. You don’t think that plant genetics and breeding are significant research directions worldwide? That would be a remarkably foolish assumption. How do you think the corn/soybean acreage in Canada has expanded so much? Through breeding programs to create hybrids that require less heat units. To change the goal to be “more tolerant of increasing heat” wouldn’t be much of a change in gears at all, as would be required for potatoes in Maine. And rest assured, if you throw “climate change adaptation” in your grant proposal you’re quite likely to have success in said grant application.

That research has a commercial end goal does not make it less “science”.

Reply to  M Courtney
November 30, 2021 1:50 pm

they are very likely to suceed COntinued crop production will be attributed to their research.

Reply to  M Courtney
November 29, 2021 12:33 pm

Potatoes USA

How Many Types of Potatoes are There?
There are more than 200 varieties of potatoes sold throughout the United States. Each of these varieties fit into one of seven potato type categories: russet, red, white, yellow, blue/purple, fingerling and petite. Learn more about the characteristics and cooking recommendations for each type of potato below.


Reply to  M Courtney
November 29, 2021 12:45 pm

By that logic, we should be building fallout shelters because there’s a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a chance of either nuclear winter or asteroid impacts will happen. The possibility of something shouldn’t be the measure. The probability should be. Interestingly, there’s likelier chance of a nuclear winter than the “black swan” climate event you refer to. Funny how everyone is up in arms over climate change but could not care less about nuclear proliferation.

M Courtney
Reply to  leowaj
November 29, 2021 1:03 pm

That depends on the cost.
If fallout shelters cost tuppence who would argue with you?

Danley Wolfe
November 29, 2021 6:29 am

Significant? Interesting?

Joao Martins
Reply to  Danley Wolfe
November 29, 2021 9:03 am

Allow me to add some more question marks, please!

Gregory Woods
November 29, 2021 6:44 am

reducing yields of both, as soon as 2030.

No me digas! Is that promise or a threat?

Mickey Reno
November 29, 2021 6:44 am

They’re solving a money problem. They need research grants to keep their damned public sector University administrators gainfully employed, with much better pension and health benefits than employees of private corporations receive. And the lefty bureaucratic state happily funds those research ideas under the rubric of saving the planet, er, I mean saving the potato.

Let’s call the whole thing off.

November 29, 2021 6:49 am

Like how much of our winter produce comes from South Florida….please, these people are idiots

Doug Danhoff
November 29, 2021 6:51 am

Never let a crisis go to waste when you can procure research money from it .

Ron Long
November 29, 2021 6:52 am

“…the closer to the tropics you get, the sooner you need to plant,…” is way too much common sense for the lunatic fringe pushing CAGW.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Ron Long
November 29, 2021 9:13 am

In south Florida winter is when one plants one’s tomatoes, cucumbers, and potatoes!

Steve Case
November 29, 2021 6:55 am

 Any warming in Maine could be addressed by…

There isn’t a problem, please stop suggesting solutions to a non-problem.
The University of Maine researchers a dishing out a load of bullshit period.

Reply to  Steve Case
November 29, 2021 7:55 am

Any warming in Maine … would be greatly appreciated by it’s residents.

Reply to  MarkW
November 29, 2021 8:17 am

With the exception of the Wool Growers Association or course

Reply to  Lil-Mike
November 29, 2021 5:16 pm

Actually, would any slight decrease of temperatures reduce the wool yield of a given breed of sheep?

Just askin, I don’t know.

November 29, 2021 7:11 am

Well to be fair the research and development of drought, heat, cold & moisture resistant wheat has benefited humanity enormously.

More varieties is better when it comes to spuds, I say.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Mr.
November 29, 2021 9:16 am

Between heirloom and commercial varieties, there are already a whole bunch of tasty spuds and they come in all the colors of the rainbow. Corn has been tinkered with as well, giving us super-sweet types and delicious colorful ears.

November 29, 2021 7:14 am

Talk about going from the sublime to the ridiculous, this from the ridiculous to the gorblimey.

November 29, 2021 7:17 am

Why dont they just use a variety that grows happily 100 miles south ?

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Sparko
November 29, 2021 11:10 am

OK … you’re cancelled far that!

Reply to  Sparko
November 29, 2021 12:25 pm

Actually, most of the common varieties of potato grow BETTER in a warmer climate than Maine’s extremely cold/short growing season. Including Idaho, which produces better spuds than Maine anyway.

November 29, 2021 7:23 am

The Great British Chefs web site says there are 500 varieties of potato grown round the world. Wikipedia ( I know, I know ) says over 5000 exist although most not grown widely.
Do we need any more varieties?

November 29, 2021 7:24 am

Never count out the Ag sector at devising another subsidy angle.

November 29, 2021 7:29 am

Will it be a “Smart Green” potato that can adjust back the other way when natural ocean cooling cycles set in while running counter to agenda climate modelers and settled political science?

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  ResourceGuy
November 29, 2021 4:43 pm

Green potato skins can be toxic, so avoid green.
Geoff S

November 29, 2021 7:36 am

They went in the wrong direction. Soon they will become aware of their waste of time and effort. How will they react to the reality?

November 29, 2021 7:36 am

Re-inventing the wheel is all the rage

Last edited 1 year ago by strativarius
Reply to  fretslider
November 29, 2021 8:49 am

I’ve never had a problem with employees re-inventing the wheel…

Far too many people are convinced their square wheel inventions are the best mousetraps. Forcing them to easier rolling wheels is nigh impossible.

Reply to  ATheoK
November 29, 2021 9:00 am

“ Re-inventing the wheel is all the rage…

I’ve never had a problem with employees re-inventing the wheel…”

That’s your idea of progress?

Reply to  fretslider
December 4, 2021 6:11 pm

“Reinventing the wheel” is frequently mouthed by bosses who hate wasting time or money and frequently both.
They would rather burden employees with old technology than to advance.

Usually the best way to convince them is to reinvent the solution, implement said solution, then assign credit to the neanderthal who was refusing to allow technology to advance.

Sometimes they turn purple with anger. Sometimes they nod their heads and thank us.
Almost never do they demand a return to the old method/product.

I’ve run into neanderthals every place I worked.

One boss, not a neanderthal, assigned, to me, the task of computerizing the budget department whose budget ran 1/2 billion $ in expenses and 1/3rd billion $ in revenue.

The manager and supervisors were neanderthals.

Previous attempts put computers into their department, but they were unused.
Two months into computerizing, I arrived early one morning and locked every calculator in a secure cabinet. People only got their calculator back if they proved it more useful in their daily work.

One person out of eleven proved that their running a quick calculation allowed them to tally one-off numbers while answering phone calls. Their calculator was re-issued.

Two months later, workhour savings were sufficient to reduce staffing by half yet provide a faster better quality product.

According to the resistors, we were unnecessarily reinventing the wheel! Half a year later instead of being known as f**kups, they were respected for their accuracy and timeliness.

To get there, someone must reinvent the wheel, so the wheel rolls with less resistance!

There is a side issue where many people dress up the old ways with additional requirements and frequently paperwork, then they claim it is an improvement.
It is known as lipstick on a pig! It is still a pig and no-one really thinks it was a good idea.

Last edited 1 year ago by ATheoK
November 29, 2021 7:45 am

The problem they are trying to solve is a lack of tax dollars being dumped into their bank accounts.

Dave Fair
November 29, 2021 7:48 am

Given the decades old policy of the U.S. (and other Western nations) that CO2-driven warming is dangerous, most research proposals are shoehorned into either climate mitigation or adaptation. Every ideological fad has hooked its star to CAGW; that’s were all of the billions upon billions of Federal dollars are going and where one may get massive amounts of click-bait attention.

November 29, 2021 7:52 am

Thank the Lord. French Fries will live on.

Reply to  Neo
November 29, 2021 8:08 am

French fries?

Good old fashioned English chips

Reply to  fretslider
November 29, 2021 8:39 am

Sorry man but Pommes Fritse was a French invention, though Belgium also claims the rights. But man, they really ruin it with their propensity for putting mayonnaise on them instead of ketchup! Ugg! Of course one can go to Germany and have Pom Fritz if they so desire.

Reply to  rah
November 29, 2021 9:02 am

Sorry man?

If only you were,

I suppose it must be Monsieur Walter Raleigh

Reply to  fretslider
November 29, 2021 9:55 am

From a person that knows nothing about me. Reminds me of what one would get on twitter, though I have never signed up there.

Last edited 1 year ago by rah
Reply to  rah
November 29, 2021 10:36 am

“ From a person that knows nothing about me”

And you are?

Twitter? You seem to know more about it than I do.

Reply to  fretslider
November 29, 2021 9:48 am

Johnny come lately.

“So much so that in the tiny city of Bruges, they’ve established a Frietmuseum to make their case in one of the city’s most historic buildings, which dates back to the 14th century.

Of course, there were no potatoes around in Europe back then, and they only arrived in Belgium (from Peru, via the Canary Islands) in 1567.

It took a while for them to catch on, as they were seen as a botanical curiosity rather than a culinary delicacy, but a Frenchman, Antoine-Augustin Parmentier, became their champion.

After being a prisoner in Germany in the 70 Years War, he came back to Paris in 1789, cultivated potatoes and guarded his fields with soldiers. Of course, people stole them, thinking they were something precious, but they didn’t know how to cook them. Parmentier published a number of cookbooks to help them out.”

Instead, in the museum, there is a story about Belgian villagers in the Mousane region, living by the side of the River Meuse, gathering tiny fish that they fried. Winters were harsh in the 1750s and the river froze, so the villagers cut up potatoes in the shape of the fish and fried those instead. Voilà: the birth of fries!

The real origin, however, is probably in Seville, Spain, back in the 16th century. Mother Teresa of Ávila grew the new arrivals in her convent gardens to feed the poor and sick and probably fried them in olive oil. So perhaps we should call them “Spanish fries” instead?”

Pomme de terre frites, (pomme frites), or apple of the Earth deep fried.
Not pan fried, not sauteed, not baked, but complete immersion in hot deep fat.
A curiously French method of cooking.

Reply to  ATheoK
November 29, 2021 10:36 am

Scottish way of cooking.
Deep fried Mars Bar, anyone?

Reply to  Oldseadog
December 4, 2021 6:23 pm

Are you claiming that haggis is deep fried?
Nope, boiled as so many foods were in the United Kingdom.

Deep fried Mars bars are recent inventions.

Reply to  ATheoK
November 29, 2021 10:40 am

Do your history- we were still smoking them…..

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Neo
November 29, 2021 8:24 am

There may even be enough excess potatoes to allow curly fries to continue to be available.

Dave Fair
November 29, 2021 7:53 am

WUWT needs to loop back in 8 years to see if NASA’s prediction of declining corn and wheat yields actually occur.

Matthew Sykes
November 29, 2021 7:57 am

Potatoes grow in Mexico and Alaska, Australia, India, UK, Canada, Russia, etc etc etc . So you think they give a damn how hot it is?

November 29, 2021 8:03 am

Growing food increases the human Carbon footprint

You are obliged to starve to save the planet

Walter Sobchak
November 29, 2021 8:05 am

Potatoes come from Peru on the Equator, albeit in the mountains.

Reply to  Walter Sobchak
November 29, 2021 9:52 am

Like many orchids found in the same locale, potatoes don’t like frosts or freezing, but grow excellently in the mild temperatures from growing at altitude near the equator.

Rich Davis
November 29, 2021 8:20 am

The new potato will only grow at the equator or in a hot house, will yield up to 10 kilograms per hectare, and will taste like dirt. They will have it ready for commercial use in 40 years.

November 29, 2021 8:34 am

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — University of Maine researchers are trying to produce potatoes that can better withstand warming temperatures as the climate changes.”

More researchers and their bosses who do not know their sacroiliacs from potatoes.

Potatoes are originally tropical to sub-tropical plants.

What is the secret of Bundaberg’s success with potatoes developed in Maine? Very simple – Bundaberg farmers plant the potatoes in Fall, the plants mature over winter, and they harvest in Spring”

What kills potatoes thoroughly are hard freezes. Farmers in seasonally cold areas where the ground freezes can not leave potatoes in the ground over winter. Nor can they be stored where the potato will freeze.

University of Maine researchers do not know what or why they are doing anything with potatoes.
They must not be accountable for their work and are probably working from home away from any potatoes or potato science.

November 29, 2021 8:35 am

Will the lobsters notice the difference in the boiling pot?

November 29, 2021 8:46 am

Maybe this “global warming” potato will produce some really good French Fries.

November 29, 2021 8:57 am

The point of growing potatoes in a place like Maine (or the best spuds, in Idaho) is that their growing season is too short to grow many other crops. If Maine were to get a couple of degrees warmer, that would only expand the list of crops that they can grow.

The parts of Idaho that have the shortest growing season, such as in the upper Snake River valley, are generally limited to seed potatoes, which are smaller than the typical baking spuds associated with Idaho grown in the warmer (due to lower elevations and more southerly latitude) in the middle Snake River valley. The growing season in the middle Snake River valley is about 6-8 weeks longer than the growing season in Maine. And they produce better potatoes in Idaho than Maine.

Reply to  Duane
December 4, 2021 6:32 pm

Soil types are the biggest reasons for where potatoes are commercially grown.

Where I live in Virginia, potatoes are grown in the sandier fast draining soils below the Fall line (Tidal reach).

Above the Fall line, soils are frequently underlain by hard clay. Hard clay causes potatoes and carrots to grow deformed and when excessive water fails to drain off the potatoes rot before harvest.

Shanghai Dan
November 29, 2021 9:02 am

Wait, wait WAIT!

Are you insinuating that the climate is DIFFERENT not just at different locations around the globe, but at DIFFERENT times of the year, such that one could simply move their growing season on the calendar?


Joao Martins
November 29, 2021 9:02 am

Sounds like those fellows that 30 years ago advertised and sold “beer without cholesterol”…

Did they check if potatoes suffer a lot with 3 or 4 C than now? Remember, potatoes are cultivated in latitudes ranging from Canada and central Europe to Kenya…

Reply to  Joao Martins
November 29, 2021 9:14 am

I have seen ads on UK TV for ‘gluten free’ shampoo…

Reply to  griff
November 29, 2021 10:41 am

Well done, griff

Joao Martins
Reply to  fretslider
November 29, 2021 11:27 am

For once…

Rich Davis
Reply to  griff
November 29, 2021 2:07 pm

Upvote for griff, what’s next? Maybe cats and dogs living together!

November 29, 2021 9:07 am

It is worth pointing out that 99% of all potato varieties grown world wide originated in coastal central Chile, which has a Mediterranean climate and a latitude centering about 32 degrees south, with prevailing winds coming off the Pacific that moderate the climate. Maine, on the other hand, has a humid continental climate with extremely cold and long winters, and sits at about 45 degrees north latitude.

So growing potatoes adapted to a climate that is a couple of degrees warmer would actually much improve and lengthen the growing season for potatoes in Maine, and also make other crops that require longer growing seasons feasible in Maine.

Rich Davis
Reply to  Duane
November 29, 2021 2:15 pm

Now you see why they call it catastrophic

Reply to  Duane
November 29, 2021 5:31 pm

I had dinner last night with a couple, in their 60s, who grew up in Maine.

They now (and have for over 30years) live in Las Vegas, NV. They are surviving in a slightly warmer climate.

Of course they can afford AC, etc. which makes this climate acceptable to most people.

Most of our electricity is generated with natural gas.

Reply to  Duane
November 30, 2021 5:54 am

Chiming in from potato capital of Florida. Two of three rotations per year are potatos, including Sebago. U FL extension station Hastings – mean monthly soil temps Nov 2020 to Nov 2021. Hope I can make this work -lurked for almost 2 decades, first post.

FAWN_report hastings soil.png
Michael E McHenry
November 29, 2021 9:11 am

Testimony to the fact that many academics are in the get the grant and write the paper business regardless of the facts

Mike Maguire
November 29, 2021 9:21 am

“Around the world, research aimed at mitigating crop damage is underway. A NASA study published this month suggests climate change may affect the production of corn and wheat, reducing yields of both, as soon as 2030.”

Now the damage won’t start until 2030????……….as trendline yields have continued higher for the past 30 years………….despite the dire predictions of crop disasters looming just around the corner the entire time:

I reinserted the original title and date from the article below…….. that they removed from the article to make it harder to find and so that people wouldn’t know when it came out.

U.N. Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not CheckedPETER JAMES SPIELMANN June 29, 1989

UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.
Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of ″eco- refugees,′ ′ threatening political chaos, said Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP.
He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control.

“Shifting climate patterns would bring back 1930s Dust Bowl conditions to Canadian and U.S. wheatlands”

So let’s see what those wheat yields have actually been doing for the past 30 years.

How about corn:
comment image


That’s more than 3 decades of being wrong almost every year. The response?
Manufacture even scarier scenarios because people aren’t acting fast enough to the previous scares.
It’s not about science, its about the politics of scaring people to convince them to follow an agenda, using a “save the planet” ruse.

November 29, 2021 9:23 am

Meanwhile, an Extinction Rebellion spokesperson appeared in front of media with an assortment of allegedly endangered potatoes glued to himself …….

November 29, 2021 9:25 am

“.. what problem are the researchers actually trying to solve?”

The problem they’re trying to solve is to fabricate a scary scenario consistent with the physics defying narrative of a global climate catastrophe caused by the technological advancement of mankind that has arisen from inexpensive, widely available and arbitrarily dispatchable energy.

c b
November 29, 2021 9:36 am

Consult with the experts. Pelosi, Zucker, Obama, Biden, Kerry, etc… They even know how to stop Climate Change from making the Sea Rise… otherwise they wouldn’t be buying multi-million dollar beach front property.

The Dark Lord
November 29, 2021 10:16 am

funding their beach house …

November 29, 2021 10:42 am

My experience with potatoes is that they aren’t particularly happy being expected to grow in cold, frozen dirt, but will happily sprout and grow more potatoes once the dirt warms up a bit. But that was in the central Midwest where farmers generally have better sense about such things than lab rabbits. 🙂

November 29, 2021 10:52 am

There is no remotely plausible (high) level of” grant money that a professor of crop ecology and management, will not find a “research” project to waste on….

November 29, 2021 11:08 am

Gregory Porter, a professor of crop ecology and management”

Is he the guy who always wears a Kangol Summer Spitfire hat?

Bruce Cobb
November 29, 2021 11:52 am

Brilliant. Now if they can just make a Stupid resistant potato.

November 29, 2021 11:55 am

A politically correct potato. There is no limit to what science can do with imagination and the carrot.

Eric H.
November 29, 2021 12:18 pm

I’m not in academia, but where I work if you want to get some project funded or need to get equipment upgraded you tie it to the latest “big deal” pushed by corporate. This looks like somebody wanted to study potatoes and needed funding.

November 29, 2021 12:52 pm

 ”…what problem are the researchers actually trying to solve?”

And the answer is… How do we keep the grant money flowing??

November 29, 2021 12:59 pm

The story mentions the problem of increased rainfall.

So, I went to “WolframAlpha.” This is a question-answer engine, a high-level “Ask Jeeves” or ask Siri.

I entered “average rainfall trend Bangor Maine past 60 years.”

Guess which way their rainfall is trending?

November 29, 2021 1:24 pm

“If we want potatoes to be continued to be produced successfully in Maine, we need to be able to produce varieties that can be resistant to change.”

Anything living that is resistant to change is also resistant to evolution.

Attempting to promote this in agriculture is of course no different than evil intent.

Joseph Zorzin
November 29, 2021 2:08 pm

“what problem are the researchers actually trying to solve?”

The problem of getting more funding?

Bruce of Newcastle
November 29, 2021 2:24 pm

Perhaps they should breed a global cooling resistant potato too. Might be more practically useful.

November 29, 2021 5:36 pm

The problem they are solving is the “How do we get on the gravy train?” one.

November 29, 2021 6:30 pm

Growing up in Minnesota, there was a saying: “Corn needs to be knee-high by the Fourth” – the Fourth of July, that is. That much growth was necessary in order to achieve a good yield at harvest.

Now, here in South Texas, it seems like the corn in the great southern planes south of San Antonio, seems to be “knee high by the fourth….of March”. The annual average temperature here is more than 20 degrees F higher than Minesota. It seems corn does just fine in both places.

It doesn’t do very well, though, in the great planes of Manitoba, or even North Dakota, for that matter. A little more global warming, and there could vast fields of corn throughout Canada. I doubt it will make too much harm in Texas, either. BTW, I know of some great beach front property In Hudson Bay I’ll get you a good price on.

Peta of Newark
November 29, 2021 7:22 pm

Here’s a nice one for the Data Miners out there:
Potato consumption vs Covid Fatality Rate

(There are myriad confouning things in there, more on which later…)

Taties contain lots of Vitamin C – but (confounder #1) = Vit C needs to be taken in multiple small doses all across waking hours

Otherwise taties are a nice study in addiction.
All me/you/anyone gets from eating potato is: Sugar

Exactly the same sugar as we’d get from eating wheat

So now consider that a UK farmer growing taties gets a yield of 20 tonnes per acre
Typical potato means that that is 4 tonnes per acre of Dry Matter – Starch = Sugar when we cook it

Pretty well what the UK farmer would get growing wheat in fact

But potatoes, being of the Nightshade Family are insanely ‘hungry’ plants – there are no free lunches and it takes a lot of ‘resource’ to make those hideous Alkaloids

Thus the UK farmer will, to get that 20 tonne crop, will find himself throwing 500+ kg per acre of fertiliser at the potatoes, instead of the 250kg he’d be throwing at the wheat field.
And that 16 tonnes per acre of water that comes home with the spuds had to have come from ‘somewhere’

Don’t tell the Enviro Green Whackos – their heads will surely explode

It all becomes a bit ‘marginal’ even before Potato Blight appears, changing its form every 3 or 4 weeks and thus requiring epic vigilance and even more epic chemical input.

Thus we get to ‘consumer preference’
Potatoes have to ‘look nice’ – one of The Main Selling Points of the spuds in the picture above
Thus, tatie harvesting becomes an intensely ‘manual’ operation – a team of pickers/sorters ride upon the spud harvester, sorting the big bad ugly split bruised damaged broken and throwing them back onto the field from whence the grew. Nice and good in fact.
(Whackos may see that and there will become a Secondary Head Explosion)

But the farmer gets into problems as taties ‘in the ground’ are living things – they continue to grow and will very easily move themselves out of their intended market – be that baking taties, salad taties, things for ‘processors, chip (French Fries) manufacturers etc etc

So what the farmer does, when the taties are ‘about right’ – he kills them.
Thus they remain ‘right for their market’ and don’t do anything unruly, such as sprouting, while the farmer assembles a harvesting team

And to kill them, he uses Roundup

Thus we get The Major Confounder in the Covid investigation – because taties full of Roundup will block critters like ourselves from absorbing the nutrients and trace elements we need to help us fend off Covid.

‘Roundup’ applies to me/you/anyone when we go shopping for spuds.

If you find pristine clean potatoes with very thin skins – Do Not Touch or Eat
If you find pristine clean potatoes that don’t have sprouts nor do they grow sprouts when you get them home, likewise, Do Not Eat
If you find, on your plate, a potato with dazzling white flesh, a gritty texture and perfectly tasteless, no matter how much butter, salt, chilli whatever you throw at it, Do Not Eat
If you find potates that ‘dont go green very quickly’ should you leave in the light – Do Not Eat

if you find potatoes, in the shop, with dirt/soil attached, that are growing shoots/eyes and some of them are going green, Do Buy And Eat them

But before you clean. peel and process them, while they’re still covered in dirt, pass them round, bare skin/hands. all the members of your family
let everyone get their hands dirty and be in no special hurry to wash it off. Let is soak in a bit

Because, there be your Vitamin B12 supply – without which, you go crazy. literally.

Could very well be why Polish people have ‘wits’ – in the UK certainly it is they who ride upon the spud harvesters getting their hands dirty.
Methinks they eat lotsa taties back home also and don’t ‘go a bundle’ on ‘Nice Potatoes’ and hence Roundup

Last edited 1 year ago by Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
November 29, 2021 8:16 pm


And all this is obvious because they are so expensive.

Pat from kerbob
November 29, 2021 8:23 pm

What do the grow to use in making that awful Bundaberg Rum?

November 29, 2021 9:39 pm

We also grow potatoes in Perth WA

They are so successful that up until 10 years ago there were quotas to limit the number you were allowed to grow

We regularly have very hot summers >40 deg C for 10 days plus and our winters rarely go below 5 deg C – yet the growers manage pests and temperature and we have a good selection of variety and supply

obviously the Maine Agronomists need to climate out of there cave and look at what others do

PS Africa also grows lots of root crops without challenge also

Craig from Oz
November 29, 2021 10:34 pm

A NASA study published this month suggests climate change may affect the production of corn and wheat, reducing yields of both, as soon as 2030.

Meanwhile in the real world we can compare the predictions from these studies against harvest levels, Right?


Shouldn’t be seeing the word ‘Bumper Crop’ anywhere according to NASA.

November 30, 2021 3:22 am

roflmao 😉 grew spuds in midnorth SA no worries
its yet another GMO based ripoff stunt

November 30, 2021 7:49 pm

Indoctrination can be costly and wasteful.

Brian D Epps
December 1, 2021 4:25 pm

Potatoes are a freaking weed. Barring drought, disease, or invasive infestation, they will grow anywhere.

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