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Frequently Asked Questions

Q:What is PVMI doing?
A: PVMI is aiming to be the leading promoter and marketing force of the new and improved potatoes.  To return the value in the new potato varieties back to the breeding program and the Tri-State Industry that has supported it. To accomplish this goal PVMI is working on these key areas:

  • Working with International parties to register the new varieties (PBR) abroad and develop markets
  •  Protect the varieties in foreign countries
  • Administering new licenses and royalty fees to growers in the Tri-States, the USA and in Canada
  •  Promoting communications within the industry
  • Talking to end users to market and promote new varieties
  •  Working on a process to expedite commercialization – get early evaluation of promising clones in a controlled manner
  •  Help market Tri-State varieties to Processors, Quick Service Restaurants, Consumers
  •  To increase the appreciation of potato types

Q:What is the Tri-State Program?
A: The Tri-State Breeding Program represents a cooperative effort between Oregon, Idaho and Washington

  •  Potato Breeders/Geneticists at:
    • Corvallis, Oregon – OSU
    • Prosser, Washington – ARS
    • Aberdeen, Idaho - ARS
  •  Potato Scientists
    • Pullman, Washington – WSU
    • Hermiston, Oregon – OSU
    • Powell Butte, Oregon – OSU
    • Othello, Washington – WSU
    • Klamath Falls, Oregon – OSU
    • Corvallis, Oregon – OSU
    • Malheur, Oregon– OSU
    • Aberdeen, Idaho – U of I/ARS
    • Moscow, Idaho – U of I
    • Twin Falls, Idaho – U of I

Q: What do Improved Varieties mean?
A: In a nutshell it means...

  • Better performance
  • Less input required (water, Nitrogen, pesticides)
  • Less disease and pest problems
  • Improved economic yield per acre
  • Designed to fit commercial and retail niches

Q:Who is involved?
A: Three groups as follows:

  • The Three Potato Commissions (they make up the Executive Committee)
    • Idaho Potato Commission
    • Oregon Potato Commission
    • Washington Potato Commission 
  • The PVMI Board
    • 2 Potato Growers each state (6)
    • Executive Committee Members (3)
  • Tri-State NPVDC (Northwest Potato Variety Development Committee)

Q:How will it affect the potato industry?
A: Providing the incentives to develop potato markets is critical to the success of the industry. PVMI focusing on the development and promotion of protected varieties, often in conjunction with industry stakeholders, allows the ability to differentiate characteristics between varieties and benefit from marketing investment in them.


Q:How will this affect the seed grower?
A: Growing PVP varieties that come out of the Tri-State Breeding Program will require an annual sub-license agreement from PVMI (see the Getting Started with PVMI section of the website).  The cost of acquiring a sub-license is weighted towards the Tri-State Growers.  When the seed/crop is sold a royalty payment will be due, based on the same weighting scheme.

PVMI in its future efforts to educate and market will increase demand for new varieties to consumers, processors and end users including retail distributors and quick serve restaurants.  In the long run, this should increase the value of new varieties over the current commodity.  Potatoes in the future will be valued for their unique varieties and characteristics.  Think of an apple 30 years ago! 


Q:How will this affect the commercial grower?
A: Except in particular cases, commercial growers will not need to get a PVMI license, nor pay royalties directly to PVMI.  Because PVMI Royalty Fees were incurred at several stages while seed was produced there will be an increase in the cost of seed.  Similar to an increased cost for transport in seed that is sent a further distance.    

Due to the efforts of PVMI in marketing and promotion of the new varieties there should be more demand and pull through for the new varieties from processors and end users including retail distributors, quick serve restaurants and consumers.  PVMI hopes to provide more information, sooner about the uses and characteristics of the new varieties to promote opportunities to develop markets.