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Latest R&D to be revealed at PotatoEurope

Cutting edge research into potatoes will be shared as part of the conference program at the 2016 edition of PotatoEurope, the largest open-field event devoted to the potato in Europe.

Cutting edge research into potatoes will be shared as part of the conference program at the 2016 edition of PotatoEurope, the largest open-field event devoted to the potato in Europe.

Being held September 14-15 in Aisne in northern France, PotatoEurope will be held over 44 ha this year.

Given a feature of the French potato sector is that growers have helped form research and development institutes, the latest innovations introduced by ARVALIS, the French arable crops research institute, and its technical partners, will be shared as part of 4 themed sections of the event’s conference programme:

  • Agronomy section: many new innovations
    With 3 fertilisation-related innovations, the new plant cover selection decision-making tool, the use of the energy diagnosis tool for irrigation installations and new compaction benchmarks, the agronomy section certainly has its fair share of innovations.
  • Genetic resources and varietal innovations: 44 innovations in 4 years
    The varietal showcase will present a number of market- leading varieties, including the 44 which have been in the French catalogue since 2012, the date of the previous French edition of PotatoEurope. Market adaptation and improvement in disease tolerance are remarkable.
  • Protecting cultivations section: advances in biocontrol
    With a biocontrol product approved for haulm killing and others which have been subjected to anti-pest testing, protection options for potato crops are growing. However, regardless of their origin, control products are not enough. Prophylactic strategies remain a priority.
  • Storage/Conservation section: controlling germination and energy
    No germination inhibitor residues or seeds: conserving potatoes for the fresh market is becoming more complex. This calls for a combination of a range of strategies, requiring increasingly specialised expertise. Here, too, PotatoEurope can provide answers.

For more information visit www.potatoeurope.com

 

 

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Electronic nose can ‘smell’ when compost is ready to use

Knowing when compost has broken down enough to be used as fertiliser will be easier thanks to a device developed by researchers at the Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology of Seville (IRNAS-CSIC) and the University of Huelva.

Knowing when compost has broken down enough to be used as fertiliser will be easier thanks to a device developed by researchers at the Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology of Seville (IRNAS-CSIC) and the University of Huelva.

Their electronic nose detects gases given off by organic matter in the compost and the resulting data, which undergoes computer analysis, reveals whether it is at its optimum point and not toxic to the plants it is to be used on.

According to an IRNAS-CSIC press release, it is the first time that an e-nose has been used in this way in the area of organic waste composting.

Project manager Rafael López

This new tool from the Andalusian researchers can measure up to 10 different odors. “During the composting process, hundreds of gases with their own characteristic odors are emitted that provide information about the (maturity of the) compost,” said project manager Rafael López.

Compost is okay to use once it has matured and is no longer phytotoxic, in other words not harmful to plants that may be grown in it, he said.

Immature compost can stunt, harm and even kill plants.