green sprouted potato eyes, potatoes ready for planting in the ground.

Why use certified seed potatoes? Where to purchase them?

Potatoes are a popular crop for several reasons- they store longer, they have a high yield per square foot, and are a versatile crop. In order to keep our potatoes in Alaska growing healthy, it is important for us growers to purchase only Alaska certified seed potatoes. Potatoes are grown from seed potatoes which are actually tubers that you can use to grow new potatoes that will be genetically identical to the parent potato. Imported potatoes could introduce problems such as late blight, root knot nematode, viruses and other destructive organisms that are common in potatoes throughout the continental US. Certification is designed to identify and remove from use those seed lots which have become diseased or are otherwise of reduced value for use as seed. Several places in Alaska specifically grow certified seed potatoes for purchase. In order to reduce disease and other health issues, you should plant newly purchased certified seed potatoes in your garden each year. This list from the Division of Agriculture features several certified seed growers throughout the state. The garden and feed stores such as Kenai Feed and Alaska Mill and Feed feature a range of Alaskan grown certified seed potatoes. This is another comprehensive list of certified seed potato varieties that grow well in Alaska.