RE S EARCH GPS tests useful even without results Our next objective therefore is to find total solutions. We have now mapped the structure sites of the plots, for example, but then the question arises of what you can do about it. You can dig a hole, but what will you see then? In order to find an answer to that question, we were trained by a soil specialist. ‘You are already quite a good farmer when you recognise the problems and are halfway to solving them.’ He taught us that some badly structured sites can be improved while others cannot. In the past, we usually spread some extra fertiliser on such a site expecting that this would put right the growth. Now we know that it is better to spread a bit less there and not waste any money on it and that we need to improve the quality of the product. More tubers of the desired size The same actually goes for the tests with regard to precision planting. In the first experiments the plant spacing was based on a digital map on which only the lutum content was recorded. That proved to be a good choice, as early results demonstrate that adjusting the plant spacing to the soil structure (light or heavy) can produce more harvestable tubers of the desired size. The differences in lutum percentages relate largely to the moisture availability of the soil, which can differ on the plots that do not have a very good soil structure. Whatever the difference is, we will need to measure it. That is why we have planned a test to measure the soil moisture tension to try to record this in digital maps too. We are expecting, though, that once we have established the moisture condition of the soil, we will be able to find solutions to soil-related problems such as common scab. In this way we will try to capture as many growing aspects as we can in the coming years. Leo Hanse The source of potato information NEW and receive 4 magazines a year + a monthly internet newsletter Subscribe now The Wor lds Most Dedicated Potato magazine w w w. p o t a t o wo r l d . n l Pagina 16

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