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POTATO CULTIVATION & DISTRIBUTION UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD PROMOTIONAL FILM 62254

Produced by Vincent H. Hunter and presented by the Union Pacific Railroad, the 1940s short film Potatoes Unlimited provides viewers with a glimpse of the potato industry, from creating potato seed to the transportation to grocery stores via Union Pacific lines. The film begins with several shots of mountain ranges and potato fields, including the area of Idaho just west of the Tetons (01:45). Soil is prepared with tractors, ploughs, and harrows (02:28), and sometimes horse-drawn equipment, so that the potatoes will have the nutrients they need once planted. Potato seed production is crucial in the battle to produce disease-free potatoes (04:22) and maximize yields. Once seeds have been cut and indexed, they are planted using a planting board (05:39) in square plots, allowing farmers to identify which ones are healthy or not, so that farmers can eliminate the unhealthy seeds from their potato cellars. Healthy potato seeds are boxed, shipped, and planted. Planting equipment includes tractor-drawn assisted feed planters (08:21; 09:08), high-speed picker/planters (15:53), and rotary-disc seed cutters (14:16) used by small growers. As the potatoes grow, people inspect the fields and remove any diseased plants (09:49) so the crop will pass state inspection. The film discusses the different viruses that affect potato crops (10:56), including mosaic, black leg, and spindle tuber. Laboratory tests (13:05) are used to determine potential cases of ring rot in crops as well. Irrigation (17:18) is crucial for growth of the entire plant, and controlled flow is the best practice. Cultivating (18:58) helps with irrigation and provides ridges for shade. Where dry farming is required, cultivators equipped with duck feet (19:17) ensure better absorption of moisture. Potato farmers spray for bugs, using a liquid sprayer (19:30) or by crop dusting (19:45). Harvest time (20:13) requires long hours in the field. Various diggers (20:18), including high-speed two-row diggers (22:32), single-row digger and sackers (23:10), and 2-row diggers with elevators (23:52), are used to remove potatoes with minimal bruising. Pickers then retrieve the potatoes and put them into burlap sacks if sacking is not a part of the digger machine. Roto-beaters (21:05) are used to break off vines and increase harvesting speed. Potatoes are placed on conveyer belts to be cleaned, graded, and stored in underground or partially underground storage buildings. Concrete storage buildings near Union Pacific Railroad lines are built for bulk storage (26:00), where potatoes are eventually washed, graded, sacked, weighed, and shipped to markets via the Union Pacific Railroad (29:00). The film concludes using graphics that show how potatoes are loaded in rail cars to protect the potatoes, taking into account the season and the type of potatoes being shipped (29:27).

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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com

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