As sustainable potato growing is all about doing more with less (i.e. more yield with a lower footprint) Avebe sets out to help its growers with low-input varieties that come with a higher nitrogen efficiency.
To that end, Avebe compares old and new starch varieties on test and demo fields. At its breeding company Averis, and through external parties, there has been an increasing supply of new varieties for a few years now. Varieties with a broader resistance to diseases such as phytophthora, a higher starch yield or better nitrogen efficiency.
According to Knowledge Coordinator Jans Klok, there is a big difference between varieties regarding the amount of nitrogen that remains in the soil after cultivation. “So far, the new varieties seem to be coming out of the trials well, but they will have to prove themselves in practice.”
The standard variety Seresta will be compared with the varieties Adelinde and Avenger at the special durability demo. Seresta is sensitive to phytophthora and needs a lot of nitrogen, says Klok.
“If we want to reduce carbon emissions, the nitrogen intake can influence this. Both Adelinde and Avenger can manage with 60 kg less nitrogen/ha than Seresta. Applying 10 kg less nitrogen reduces carbon emission by 3 per cent. Nitrogen efficiency is also at the heart of the 7th Nitrates Action Programme.”