History of Seed Potato Certification in Nebraska

Nebraska began seed potato certification in Nebraska in 1918, through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). Nebraska growers at that time were facing many issues with the deterioration of seed in field and storage. In order to combat this Dr. H.O. Warner was hired as a potato extension specialist by UNL. His first course of action was the creation of the state’s first seed potato certification program.

Figure 1. Second Annual Convention of the Nebraska Certified Potato Growers Association. 

By the early 1920’s seed potato certification was turned over to the Foundation Seed Division of the Nebraska Certified Potato Growers Association (NCPGA) (Figure 1).  Seed certification was then conducted by NCPGA with UNL oversight. Since NCPGA was created for marketing purposes, many felt a new agency should be established to conduct certification only. In 1952 the Potato Certification Association of Nebraska (PCAN) was incorporated as a non-stock, non-profit association. An Executive Council is elected annually from industry members and all rule changes are approved by the Seed Certification Committee at UNL. PCAN is currently in its sixth decade of operation.