Across Regions, Cultivation/Production, Europe, UK, Ireland, Smart Farming, Studies/Reports

Are 100t/ha potato crops possible?

Potato yields in the UK appear to be faltering and one expert believes a yield competition like that seen with wheat could help the sector get closer to three-digit yield figures.

Yield data from the AHDB suggest there has been a slowing down in the rate of increase in yields. This is in contrast to the sugar beet sector which is still seeing a strong upward trend, with a 2017 average of 83.4t/ha.

While AHDB figures show the 2018 potato crop averaged 41.7t/ha, NIAB CUF head David Firman points to the huge variation between crops, with some yielding above 80t/ha.

Looking around the world, Washington state in the USA is a standout performer, with an average above 70t/ha.

And triple-digit yields have already been seen in the UK. An irrigation trial in 2013 achieved 125t/ha with the variety Volare, although Dr Firman says that came at the expense of dry matter content.

He believes the more impressive performance was for a 114t/ha crop in a Washington State University variety trial, equating to a dry matter yield of 26t/ha. “It shows that there is an opportunity to increase yields considerably,” he says.

So what are the factors that could be holding back yields?

Read the full article in Farmers Weekly

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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