CULT IVAT ION AND T ECHNIQUE Meeting point for top quality potato product is its extended shelf-life: it will remain fresh for at least five weeks. Red Arturia Yet another novelty comes from Stet Holland. It is the redskinned Arturia, which might be an interesting variety for Dutch seed potato growers. It has a very good yield, producing many uniform long-oval tubers, and has a high resistance to scab. In addition, this variety is much liked by buyers from abroad: Portugal, Israel, Bosnia and Croatia. The new variety appeals to them because of the striking deep-red colour of the skin and the dark-red eyes and yellow flesh. The Arturia will be marketed in these countries as a waxy potato. Thicker cut, less fat Potato square also pays attention to the widely different qualities of the various potato varieties. In and around the chips stand from the Hoekse Waard region, visitors can taste the traditionally fried Agria chips. The chips from these three collaborating potato growers from ‘s Gravendeel are cut slightly thicker than those we know from the big names in the supermarket. That thicker cut, with skin, makes the traditional chips less greasy and helps retain the special Agria flavour. WORK METHOD IMPROVED Treating storage potatoes with sprout inhibiting gas is not a very nice job. Moreover, these gases do not always improve the baking quality of the potato, it seems, because of the exhaust gas released by the apparatus. These same sprout inhibiting substances are now available for use in atomisers. Luxan has developed the GroStop innovator for that very purpose. This apparatus can be used in the store with the help of a Cyclomatic atomiser. The same apparatus is already used to atomise the natural sprout inhibitor Talent. The new agent not only improves the quality of the potato, it also improves the working method. Roll-up bag for readily absorbable phosphate and Urean. Another novelty that can make work easier is the storage bag for fluid fertiliser. Van Iperen from Klaaswaal has been a supplier of fluid fertiliser such as Urean and absorbable phosphate for some years now. The use of fluid fertiliser is very popular with the bigger potato companies. One advantage is that you can spread the fertiliser with a field crop sprayer, which is more accurate and acts faster in the case of foliar fertilisation. A disadvantage is transport: fertiliser pellets can be transported in a tipping trailer, but you need tanks for fluid fertiliser. Many farmers have a tank in their yard, but using it involves a great deal of driving back and forth from farm to field. Van Iperen’s solution for this problem is the roll-up fertiliser bag. The supplier can fill the bag on the plots and it can be moved after use. Electronic grader for growers Grading is a manual job that, as a result of scale expansion, is increasingly being taken over by machines. The machines increase the quality of the working method, particularly for potato growers. In order to enhance the added value of their crops, growers have increasingly started to grade and package their potatoes themselves. Miedema has anticipated this development with the Smart Grader 603. This grader unit has been developed in close cooperation with Hortagro. This is a company with years of experience in electronic grading machinery for vegetables and fruit. The 603 is an electronic grader that can grade six rows at the same time on colour, tuber shape, diameter and size all with the aid of cameras. For optimum single-tracking, a table with conic rolls is used, the angle of which can be accurately adjusted. In six side-by-side rows, the cameras inspect the tubers from all sides, at the same time scrutinising the tubers as regards the criteria entered into the software in advance. Subsequently, each tuber is directed towards one of the three grading lines. The entire process runs so quickly, that the grader can easily achieve a capacity of five to ten tonnes an hour. To some extent, however, this depends on the average tuber weight. 24 Potatoworld 2006 Pagina 23

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