A critical step in profitable post-harvest potato storage management is to cure tubers at appropriate temperatures long enough for rapid wound-healing to prevent disease and defect development, but not too long to jeopardize storage quality. A two-year storage study was conducted in macro-storage totes at the University of Wisconsin Hancock storage research facility to evaluate the effects of higher wound-healing temperatures (15.6 °C, 18.3 °C) imposed for different durations, and compare them to the U.S. potato industry’s standard practice (12.8 °C), on weight loss and frying quality of multiple processing potato varieties during long-term storage. It was found that in the experimental setting of this study, warmer wound-healing temperatures resulted in (1) less weight loss, particularly during the early storage season across varieties; (2) ameliorated senescent sweetening of the Snowden variety; (3) improved fry quality of the Russet Burbank variety; (4) and no apparent disease spread during long-term storage if tubers were harvested healthy out of fields. Overall, no significant difference was found between 15.6 °C and 18.3 °C regarding their treatment effects. Our conclusion is that compared to the current standard practice, higher wound-healing temperatures may have the potential benefits of improving potato storage quality while reducing the economic penalty associated with weight loss for specific varieties, but tubers should be healthy at harvest in order to gain the benefits. Further research is needed to test if those benefits of higher wound-healing temperatures hold true in large-scale commercial storage facilities.
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