In my time on the planet, I have looked at a lot of sweet potatoes. I have probably looked at more sweet potatoes than I have eaten because I am not a big fan of them. However, millions of others across the state and across the nation are. That's why experts with the LSU AgCenter are on a quest to develop a sweet potato with a perfect shape.

You might query, "What does the shape of the sweet potato have to do with anything"? And, you wouldn't be wrong for asking that question. The answer lies in the many expanding uses that consumers are developing for this sweet Louisiana crop.

AgCenter experts are hoping to develop a sweet potato with particular shape and size qualities in hopes of improving storage applications and culinary uses. The storage part makes pretty good sense. More uniform size and shape will give producers and manufacturers a better idea of how much storage and what kind of storage space is needed.

The shape of the sweet potato comes into play when slicing the tuber for french fries or creating other dishes. Again, consistency is the key.

LSU AgCenter scientists are currently mixing and matching different varieties of sweet potato in hopes of creating a product that is not only easily stored but easily prepared and totally consistent for users.

So, while it might not sound like the best use of tax dollars on the surface, like sweet potatoes, when you dig a little deeper you can see there is a rhyme to the reason and that's why Louisiana's sweet potato industry continues to grow beyond the borders of our state.