The UK’s largest potato supplier is investigating a farm-scale net-zero project which aims to increase efficiency and long-term sustainability across the entire potato supply chain, as Emma Gillbard reports for Farmers Weekly.
The three-year project, run by potato supplier Branston, hopes to establish a production method that combats carbon emissions while still producing a commercially viable crop.
Now in its second year, the firm’s field technology manager, Andy Blair, talks Farmers Weekly through various field-scale trials that include a novel potato pulp fertiliser, nitrogen-fixing biostimulant and min-till pilots. These are being carried out by host farmers David Armstrong in Lincolnshire and John Stirling in Scotland.
Branston has developed a novel fertiliser source made from waste potato pulp, which should help release 80% less carbon than standard synthetic fertilisers. A new foliar feed that fixes nitrogen from the air by working as a photosynthetic catalyst was also trialled. Low-, medium- and high-level cultivation trials were carried out which essentially reduced five passes to three.