Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Potato & late blight genomes sequenced

The Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium recently announced the complete genome sequencing of the cultivated potato plant, Solanum tuberosum L.

This comes hot on the heels of the genetic sequencing of one of its infamous enemies, Phytophthora infestans, the cause of late blight.

You may also be interested in...


Dissertations and theses:

Conference proceedings:

Journal articles:

News and blog posts:

[Photo: Jack Delano, 1940, The Library of Congress Flickr collection, no known copyright restrictions]

Monday, October 12, 2009

Agricultural water use in Wisconsin

Data estimating water use in Wisconsin have been generated every 5 years since 1950. The latest report on state-wide water use has been released by the U.S. Geological Survey, compiling data through 2005.

Since 1950, water use for irrigation, industrial, commercial, domestic, and livestock purposes has increased 333%. The largest daily use of water is for cooling at thermoelectric-power plants: 6,898 million gallons per day (Mgal/d). Other findings include:

Irrigation (non-domestic)

  • Irrigation water use = 402 million gallons per day (Mgal/d)
  • 96% is from ground-water
  • 97% is used for agriculture

  • 3% is used for golf courses, commercial landscaping, athletic fields, parks, cemeteries, sod farms, nurseries, orchards, evergreen farms, greenhouses, specialty edibles, and botanical gardens

  • Irrigated crop land = 386,000 acres

  • Portage, Waushara, and Adams counties = highest agricultural irrigation water use; these counties lead the state in the production of potatoes, corn, and vegetables (snap beans, carrots, peas, etc.)
  • Primary crops irrigated (by acreage) = assorted vegetables, corn, potatoes, soybeans, alfalfa
  • Most intensively irrigated crops = berries, potatoes, corn

Non-irrigation (agricultural)

  • Livestock use = 73 Mgal/d; 90% from ground-water
  • Clark, Grant, and Marathon counties = highest livestock water use
  • Aquaculture use = 82 Mgal/d; 52% from surface-water


  • The paper-products industry is the largest industrial water user = 357 Mgal/d

More resources: