Italy: Agron illustrates the results of 2018 potato experiments

On 27th November, Cristiano Carli and Roberto Giordano of the Fondazione Agrion organised a technical meeting devoted to the presentation of the results of the 2018 potato experimentations conducted at the Horticultural Experimental Centre in Boves.

Roberto Giordano illustrated the data provided by the Sistema Piemonte with regard to the surfaces and the companies farming potatoes. Apparently, the surfaces became smaller. Especially in 2018, the volumes were smaller compared to last years.

After that, they analysed the materials sampled during the test while at the same time looking at the work done starting from 2013 and contextualising the conducted test. 41 different potato materials, 33 of which were with yellow skin, 6 with red skin, 1 with white pulp and skin and a hybrid were tested.

“Jelly seems to be a possible alternative to Vivaldi even though it requires a lot of care with regard to the fertilizer management. Among the many early varieties, the Corinna performed very well. Marabel is the most important early variety, while for the medium-early varieties, the Malou is the best in terms of quality. Also, the Fontane variety performed extremely well. We still cannot say anything concrete about the Levante variety”.

Furthermore, the Georgina, the Annalena and the Divaa varieties are very interesting. Among the red-skinned potatoes, the Aloutte (variety suitable for organic farming) and Yona are very interesting, also. The Rediva performed extremely good, as well.

During 2018, it was possible to observe the behaviour of a new potential innovation for potato farming. Also, the Oliver F1 variety was implanted – this is a hybrid material coming from the seed. Hybrid seed variety in the first year of observation: small plants are used for the production. Also, it performed better if it is transplanted on a biomass. Oliver F1 produces an oval tuber, with external eyes and lightly powdery light yellow flesh.

The meeting ended with the intervention by Dr Turina from CRN. He illustrated the goals fo the Viroplant project which gathers 18 partners from different European countries (Agron participates in this, as well). 

“The Viroplant basic idea is to find new manners for the biocontrol among viruses, exploiting the extreme specificity. Viruses can infect any pathogen or insect of plants. At the moment, there are only 5 products for biocontrol in Europe for 5 species of Lepidoptera. The goals of the project are: 1) look for new viruses to control insects and vector insects; 2) improve the social acceptability of biological control produce based on viruses, and possibly modified viruses (VIGS) ".

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