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~**caselynn**~

Growing Cross Contamination

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My Dad and I were out for a drive on the back roads recently, checking out all the potato fields. ( we live in Maine (: ) I noticed one in particular that had potato growing but I also noticed wheat popping through as well!? My father confirmed this, and said that wheat was probably the rotation crop from last year and there must have been some seed left in the soil when the potatoes were planted. So here's the question, can this cause contamination to the potatoes if they are growing in the same soil?? I'm by no means a farmer, nor am I a scientist, therefore I'm clueless about the growing/seeding process. I do think they grow in different ways so I'd e tempted to think they wouldn't cross pollenate, but...it's an interesting thought huh?

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Since potatoes grow underground, and wheat grows above ground, there shouldn't be much chance of cross contamination. When the wheat is combined, there won't be much left in the field (some will make it through the combine, though). That wheat will get worked into the ground, and it'll rot over the winter. Then when the farmer plants his potatoes, if there is any gluten in the soil (highly unlikely), it'll be in VERY tiny amounts. And scrubbing the potatoes as you'd do anyway will definitely remove that. The wheat that pops up the following year shouldn't be a problem, since wheat doesn't bloom, and it'll most likely be tilled under.

I speak from experience here--we're a farm family that grows wheat & potatoes. :)

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