Growing potatoes from seedlings and our other organic potato experiments
Our organic potato growing experiments within the framework of our SolACE project have now entered their third and final year.
In the on-farm experiments, we are once again testing a number of innovative methods: as in 2019, this year our partners will grow the latest hybrid potato seedlings at the Bálint Kert in Zsámbok and the Kiss Bio Farm in Kiskunfélegyháza, in Hungary. Both experimental genotypes are yellow potatoes and have been bred to a higher degree of abiotic and biotic stress resistance by the Dutch company Solynta. One of the advantages of growing from a seedling is that any infections carried by the seed tuber do not enter the soil and do not infect other plants, meaning that we can start growing potatoes with an infection-free culture.
What is more, in addition to the previous sites, trials are being conducted at the Csoroszlya Farm in Szár and the Erdőd Biokert in Hajdúhadház to examine the effectiveness of VízŐr (a water-retaining domestically developed soil conditioner) on Hópehely potatoes, and to test one of the innovations of the SolACE project, a microbial inoculant.
Meanwhile, at the Organic Farming Sector of the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences (MATE), Department of Organic Farming and Agri-environmental Planning in Soroksár, our small plot experiments are also continuing. Studies here examine the effects of differing nutrient and water supply levels on growth, as well as the effects on the stress tolerance of the plants of seven microbial inoculants containing beneficial bacteria and fungi. In the other half of the experiment, we measured the effect of the pre-crop: here, after rye or soybean, different varieties of potato tubers were planted.
Though organic farming presents many challenges, we use this farming method to contribute to the long-term protection of our land, water and, of course our own health, by producing and consuming clean food free of synthetic fertilizers.
In organic farming, the emphasis is mostly on preventing the occurrence of pests, a strategy which is also supported by our research publications. These, including a booklet describing the technique for growing organic potatoes, can be downloaded in Hungarian free of charge from our website.
We will be shooting a new video on the subject soon. Stay tuned!