TRADE AND MARKET I NG Closed potato market in Norway keeps the local potato chain afloat In order to share knowledge, together with crop consultant Camilla Bye, Tom Brauter has set up a trial field with new varieties. Manager Olav Moe tells us in the well-equipped, modern business premises that it’s a challenge to get youngsters to eat more table potatoes. VARIETIES AND POTATO RESEARCH AT NIBIO The Norwegian bio-economic research centre NIBIO carries out a wide range of agricultural research projects at locations throughout the country, including a lot of potato research. In addition to the official testing of varieties under quarantine conditions, a great deal of research is being carried out into current practical problems such as acrylamide and potato storage with alternative methods for CIPC. At the research location in Kapp, researchers Per Jarle Møllerhagen and Pia Pia Helfoft (l) and Per Jarle Møllerhagen show special NIBIO research. Helfoft take us to a special trial field. NIBIO is doing research here into the effects of radioactive precipitation in a crop, whereby they want to find out whether the radioactive material ends up in the tubers. In addition to this special research, a wide range of potato research projects are carried out on the 80 hectare trial fields. In addition to government research, NIBIO also works closely together with chain parties and other institutes such as NLR. The aim of the institute is to offer companies solutions so that they can grow potatoes in an optimal way. They look, for example, at new varieties, seed potato quality, soil conditions during planting, fertilisation, irrigation, choice of machinery during cultivation, crop protection, haulm killing, and storage. Important issues in cultivation are the ageing of the tubers during storage, resulting in brown discolouration during processing. Reducing damage during the cultivation and harvesting processes is also an important item. This year, research is being carried out with ethylene to determine whether this natural agent can replace CIPC in the storage period. Stimulate potato consumption more The consumption of potatoes in Norway is under pressure. In order to attract extra positive attention to this, the Norwegian potato sector has joined the worldwide potato campaign by the CIP in Peru ‘Imagine a World without Potatoes’. For example, the organisation has launched a competition in which six growers from six potato growing areas compete for the title of best potato grower of Norway. With this competition, the organisation is responding to the trend towards local cultivation in order to make potato consumption more attractive again. Looking at yield and quality One of the competitors is Tom Brauter from Kirkenov. On his farm, he grows 40 hectares of potatoes of the Beate, Lady Clair and Solist varieties. In order to make optimum use of the short growing season, Brauter prepares all his seed in the greenhouse in Joppe pre-germination bags. ‘I just can’t understand why all growers don’t use this system. It ensures a smooth start to the growing season, produces more stems during growth and gives me flexibility when we’re running out of time due to bad weather conditions during planting’, he says enthusiastically. In order not to damage the sprouts, he plants his potatoes with a 34 Potato World 2020 • number 1 Pagina 33

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