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WV Department of Agriculture to test potato varieties

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The West Virginia Department of Agriculture announced May 8 it would be testing potato crops on tracts of WVDA property located adjacent to Huttonsville Correctional Center in Randolph County and Lakin Correctional Center in Mason County.

Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick said 14 varieties of potato have been planted at both sites, and the department will look at results from both sites to determine which types of potatoes will product the best yields in both regions of the state. A framework for future potato planting also will be created from the project.

Helmick also said the project could help attract large-scale potato buyers to the state.

“As I’ve been saying since taking office last year, we have a $6 billion opportunity here in West Virginia, and what it really amounts to is being able to grow fresh products in West Virginia for West Virginians to consume,” Helmick said.