While the agricultural sector is committed to reducing the impact of crop protection products on the environment and living conditions, this does pose challenges for potato cultivation. Potato cultivation is becoming increasingly complex thanks to increasing viral load and restrictions in the use of crop protection agents, such as the ban on the defoliating herbicide Reglone and the sprout inhibitor Chloro IPC. Breeding new potato varieties for greater virus resistance is therefore becoming increasingly important.
The agricultural sector is constantly changing, and the pace of change and innovation is also high in the potato sector. Stricter legislation in the field of plant protection plays an important role in this respect. Starting from the 2020 harvest, the widely used plant protection product Chloro IPC may no longer be used for the long term preservation of potatoes. This will have an effect on the market for products such as fries.
There is a lot of discussion in the potato world about the development of potatoes from seed; in other words, the cultivation of hybrid potato varieties. True potato seed (TPS) is also a much-discussed topic. This term refers to botanical seed and not to seed potatoes. There are two different variants of TPS varieties: HIP hybrids and SIP hybrids. HIP stands for Highly Inbred Parent lines and SIP stands for Slightly Inbred Parent lines. In other words, these are hybrid potatoes from parents that are strongly inbred (HIP) or somewhat inbred (SIP).
Agrico invests a great deal into research and development every year. We believe that transparency for our members is extremely important, but we also bear the interests of our growers in mind, and this sometimes requires confidentiality. This results in an ongoing dilemma.
Late blight is the leading cause of potato disease and is a much discussed topic in the potato world. Agrico has brought a number of late blight-resistant varieties onto the market in various market segments under the name "Next Generation".
In 2019 the table potato variety Arizona set a milestone by becoming the first Agrico Research variety to be grown in the Netherlands on more than 1,000 hectares for the propagation of seed potatoes. This was a special achievement for this variety, which originated in the year 1997.