Sustainable seed potato cultivation through an integral approach in Groningen

Seed potato growers are increasingly forced to grow in a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way. A group of seed potato growers in Groningen saw opportunities for innovation. In 2017, a group of arable farmers, the Collectief Midden Groningen, the Louis Bolk Institute and Hoogland bv. initiated a new project. The aim of the project was to develop an integrated system approach for improving soil quality and biodiversity using a set of integrated measures relating to the cultivation plan, crop rotation, organic matter management, agricultural nature management and (soil) biodiversity.

Field experiments

In 2018, 3 field experiments were carried out at the participating arable farmers:

  1. Field experiment 1 compares compost yields on a light clay plot and on a heavy clay plot. Strips with different amounts of compost were placed on these plots.
  2. Field experiment 2 analyses a plot that is given a sabbatical ‘rest’ year. To optimise the soil, various types of cover crops are sown.
  3. Field experiment 3 consists of a plot in which 3 strips are laid. One strip will only be treated with trace elements, the next strip will be treated partly with plant protection products and partly with trace elements, and the third strip will be treated in its entirety with the regular crop protection products.

The effects of these field tests on, among other things, yields, soil and use of crop protection were examined by means of various analyses.

Read more

Report Field Meeting - News item July 2018
Effects of compost in seed potato cultivation - Newsletter December 2018
Seed potatoes with less chemistry - Newsletter December 2018
Second Field Season Announcement - February 2019 Newsletter
Report Field Meeting - News item June 2019
Extra year – News item January 2020
Final project - News item March 2020
Monitoring in making seed potato cultivation more sustainable

This project was made possible by:
“European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe invests in its countryside”