North America, Smart Farming, Sustainability

Harvesting progress: The Potato Sustainability Alliance’s vision for 2024 and beyond

In a recent blog post, John Mesko, Executive Director of the Potato Sustainability Alliance (PSA), highlights the ongoing efforts to enhance the sustainability of potato farming as we enter 2024. The focus is on the adoption of conservation practices and smart technology by potato farmers, emphasizing a collaborative approach across the value chain.

Mesko discusses the importance of efficient and safe potato production, which improves the sustainability and resilience of the entire system, including soil, water, climate, and human resources.

A key aspect of sustainable potato farming is the management of essential inputs like water and nutrients. The Potato Sustainability Alliance is shifting away from the “crop per drop” water measurement, advocating for more efficient use of resources. This approach helps farmers understand the broader impact of their practices, including carbon footprints and marketable yield per acre.

Mesko also touches on the significance of variety selection in sustainability. Advances in potato breeding focus on environmental metrics, such as water usage and storability, aiding farmers in choosing varieties that align with their sustainability goals.

Storage of potatoes is another critical factor. Efficient storage methods reduce greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, and financial losses, contributing significantly to the sustainability narrative.

Finally, Mesko emphasizes the holistic measurement of sustainability, considering the impact of crop rotations on potato farming. He cites the example of Idaho farmer Ritchey Toevs, who practices diverse crop rotations, highlighting the benefits of soil regeneration and water conservation.

In conclusion, the Potato Sustainability Alliance remains committed to being a collaborative partner, aiding growers in benchmarking their stewardship efforts and driving the conversation forward for more sustainable, productive potato farming in the future.

Source: Potato Sustainability Alliance (PSA). Read John Mesco’s article here
Image: Credit PSA

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