Farmers converge on Hermiston

Carmen Robbins, the office manager of Pendleton Grain Growers' Agronomy division in Hermiston, chats with growers and friends Wednesday at the Hermiston Farm Fair and Trade Show.<br><i>Staff photo by Erin Mills</i>

Like teenagers watching "New Moon," a crowd of farmers sat riveted as Phil Hamm explained the latest research on Potato Virus Y at the Hermiston Conference Center Wednesday. Potato Virus Y, or PVY, was the subject of a two-year study at the Hermiston Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

In a series of slides, Hamm, an extension plant pathologist, showed what happened when several varieties of potato were inoculated with various strains of PVY. The results, in a nutshell, showed PVY is bad news for potato farmers, even those who grow supposedly PVY-resistant varieties.

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