Seed World

Will True Potato Seed Affect Potato Growers? Tune in to See

True potato seeds are far from being a new innovation — the discussions have been ongoing about what they are and what they could mean for the potato industry. But, with new innovations comes some restlessness about how it might change the status quo. Questions pop up, like whether production will change if true potato seeds come to market.

While there’s no way of knowing exactly what might happen in the future, two panelists are joining to discuss what true potato seeds might mean for growers in the future.

On Wednesday, March 23 at 12:00 PM CDT, join a very special session of Seed Speaks called “Seed Speaks — Will True Potato Seeds Affect Potato Growers?” Panelists Charles Miller, commercial director of Solynta, and Helen Tai, a potato genetics and genomics research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), will do their best to pull out their crystal balls and look to the future of true potato seed. They’ll be live and excited to answer your questions!

Dr. Helen Tai is a Potato Genetics and Genomics Research Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canadain Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. She received her B. Sc. in Biochemistry and M. Sc. in Anatomy at the University of Toronto. She went on to the University of Ottawa for doctoral studies on mammalian genetics and molecular biology. Dr. Tai made an enlightened switch to plant biology during her post-doctoral fellowship with the Canadian Forest Service and joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in 2006. Her research is focused on improving potato breeding. She is currently leading a project on genomic selection for potato breeding. Her research also includes Colorado potato beetle resistance, Verticillium wilt resistance, nitrogen use efficiency, cold storage quality and diploid breeding.

Charles Miller is the Commercial Director of Solynta, an innovative company using hybrid potato breeding to seed a more sustainable future of agriculture and global nutrition. In his role as Commercial Director, Charles is responsible for Solynta’s global business development strategy and sales network. His in-depth experience in the international seed industry helps bring Solynta’s revolutionary developments in hybrid potato breeding to the world market.

In addition, we caught up with Charles Miller via email to discuss what the panel is going to look like and what he’s looking forward to.

Seed World (SW): How long have you been working in the potato industry? And how did you end up working in it?

Charles Miller (CM): I have been in the potato industry for just over three years. While I am a newcomer to potatoes, I am not a newbie to hybrid seeds! I have been part of the hybrid seed industry for more than 30 years. How did I end up in potatoes? Well, the idea and vision Solynta has of bringing hybrid breeding to potato to the world sounded too exciting to pass up.

SW: Can you tell us a little bit more about this Seed Speaks session you’ll be speaking on?

CM: I will be discussion innovation in hybrid potato breeding and the impact this will have.

SW: What is the number one thing you want attendees to take away from your session?

CM: I want people to walk away with a clear understanding of the impact hybrid potato breeding (and quality starting material or seeds) will have on global food production.

SW: What is your favourite part about being in the potato industry?

CM: The potato industry (like the seed industry) is just like a big global family. It feels really good to be part of an industry with that type of personality.

Tune in at