TRADE AND MARKET I NG In 25 years, EUROPLANT has developed from a regional player to a multinational company Two-thirds of the focus in the trial garden is on finding suitable varieties for the processing industry, say Martin Rave, Justus Böhm and Karsten Meyer (from left to right). What’s more, it is a beautiful area with sandy-loam soil, which also has a lot of possibilities for irrigation. It’s perfect here for carrying out our breeding work and also for the optimal growth of our mini tubers and multiplying them ourselves. Every year, we produce more than one million mini tubers and sell them after 3 field generations as category S’, Böhm explains the reason for this production and cultivation location. Other potato farms such as Norika, Solana and In order to meet the demand for seed potatoes, BNA produces two crops of mini tubers per year. Stöver also have cultivation stations and sometimes breeding plants in this area. At the breeding plant in Böhlendorf, breeder Karsten Meyer says that the company is situated in a European (2004/3/EC) ‘high-grade region’ for seed potatoes. ‘Ideal for breeding and multiplying mini tubers’, he emphasises. Every year, the entire BNA group carries out 800 crossings, resulting in approximately 350,000 clones, of which Meyer selects 70,000 in Böhlendorf. A guided tour of the company takes you back to the DDR period. The buildings and the many metallic ‘DDR wire boxes’ are still in the style of 30 years ago and the atmosphere still breathes the communist spirit. Meyer points out that the use of the boxes has a reason. ‘From the second year onwards, we harvest everything directly in the metal boxes. An important advantage of metal is that it’s easy to disinfect. Of course, you have to be careful about damage when filling the boxes, but with the modern Grimme harvesters we can do that without any problem’, Meyer emphasises. The boxes of seed potatoes are stored in traditional barns 28 Potato World 2017 • number 4 Pagina 27

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