Monday, 08 February 2016

FRUIT LOGISTICA 2016 becomes capital of fresh produce trade for three days

FRUIT LOGISTICA 2016 becomes capital of fresh prod...

  From February 3 to 5, FRUIT LOGISTICA in Berlin is the place to be for everyone that wants to k...

Perupas shortlisted for Fruit Logistica Innovation Award

Perupas shortlisted for Fruit Logistica Innovation...

  WOW! Colourful Perupas made by Dutch company HZPC were selected by the international Fruit Logi...

Givaudan celebrates ten years of ethical sourcing

Givaudan celebrates ten years of ethical sourcing

  Givaudan is marking a milestone in its journey to sustainable natural ingredients with an event...

Kiremko starts construction works at new facility

Kiremko starts construction works at new facility

  On February 1, the construction of the new Kiremko building started in a festive way in Montfoort, T...

Potato cultivation programme lifting people out of poverty in Africa

Potato cultivation programme lifting people out of pove...

  The Irish Potato Coalition is a programme set up by Vita, an Irish NGO, which works with communi...

Combined power drives TOMRA Sorting Food

Combined power drives TOMRA Sorting Food

  Optical food sorting system manufacturer TOMRA Sorting Food has reached an important milestone in it...

Sensor-based systems for the potato industry exhibited at Fruit Logistica 2016

Sensor-based systems for the potato industry exhibited ...

  A new edition of the Fruit Logistica trade show is set to take place in Berlin, Germany, between Feb...

AHDB launches website to improve potato chips quality

AHDB launches website to improve potato chips quality

  With the frying trade accounting for 12% of the Great Britain potato crop, ensuring quality across t...

Snack manufacturer Ibersnacks assesses its weigher-bagger equipment

Snack manufacturer Ibersnacks assesses its weigher-bagg...

  Snack manufacturers with high production outputs to pack and large orders to fulfil are among the mo...

FAM and Stumabo launch NECST - Next Evolution in Centrifugal Slicing Technology

FAM and Stumabo laun...

  FAM Stumabo developed NECST TM, an ambitious R D proj...

Potato chips in Canada - All dressed up

Potato chips in Cana...

  If you want to try potato chips with ketchup, dill pick...

Pasteurization - It’s all about safety first

Pasteurization - It’...

  Improved shelf life for food products is essential – no...

Kiremko and Packo present new product pump

Kiremko and Packo pr...

    Dutch manufacturer Kiremko and Packo, designer and c...

Company introduces potato starch for clean label food coatings

Company introduces p...

    Eliane™ Bind 12 is a potato starch with unique propert...

Welsh potato growers get latest know-how on Potato Day

Welsh potato growers...

  Over 50 potato growers gathered at the County Showground ...

Chile considered robust market for American agricultural equipment

Chile considered rob...

  In the most recently released U.S. Department of Commer...

Dundee-China collaboration discovers potential ‘Achilles heel’ of potato blight

Dundee-China collabo...

  Scientists working in Scotland and China have uncovered...

SmartStor controller wins Certificate of Merit at Lamma 2016

SmartStor controller...

  Lamma 16, the first major farming event of the year too...

Another stage completed at new Agristo cold store

Another stage comple...

  Egemin Automation has embarked upon a new major phase i...

When Idaho farmers started making the state famous for its potatoes, they seeded their crops in ridged rows and watered the plants by channeling surface irrigation to flow through the furrows between the rows.

But even though most commercial potato producers in the Pacific Northwest now irrigate their crops with sprinklers, they still typically use ridged-row planting systems.

"The problem is that sprinkler irrigation can actually work against efficient water management because runoff from the sides of a ridged potato row allows water to pond in the furrow," says agricultural engineer Bradley King, who works at the ARS Northwest Irrigation and Soils Research Laboratory (NWISRL) in Kimberly, Idaho.

"So some of the irrigation water is wasted because the excess water in the furrows percolates below the crop root zone and becomes unavailable to the plants. Under these conditions, nitrate leaching from the soil can increase."

King worked with NWISRL research leader Dave Bjorneberg and soil scientist David Tarkalson on a series of studies to see whether planting potatoes in flat beds instead of ridged rows could increase irrigation water-use efficiency and the overall efficiency of potato production.

For a 2-year study, they set up experimental fields near their laboratory in Kimberly and compared three planting systems: conventional ridge-row systems, a five-row planting configuration on a raised bed where the plant rows were 26 inches apart, and a seven-row planting configuration on a raised bed where the plant rows were 18 inches apart.

They also varied nitrogen application and irrigation rates for the experimental beds.

With the help of a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and assistance of industry partner Western Ag Research LLC, the team also set up a 5-year study with commercial producers in eastern Idaho on 62 fields, a study area that totaled around 6,900 acres. They looked at how irrigation rates and variety selection affected yields for each producer, but in this study, they only compared ridged-row systems and five-row raised-bed systems.

Results? The researchers found that using the flat-bed system increased yields by an average of 6 percent, even though 5 percent less water was used for irrigation-which meant that using flat beds instead of ridged rows for potato production led to a 12 percent increase in irrigation water use efficiency. They attribute these gains to several factors, especially the probability that planting potatoes in flat beds improves water- and nitrogen-use efficiency because more water reaches the potato roots.

These findings, which were published in 2011 in the American Journal of Potato Research, could help commercial farmers in Idaho and other states increase yields and profits, save valuable water resources, and reduce nitrate leaching. Idaho farmers who use a high level of irrigation water management-methods identified by NRCS that help producers monitor soil moisture needs, such as electronic moisture sensors and data loggers-in combination with the potato bed planter are now eligible for state funding.

The work could also create new opportunities for farmers who are looking for ways to increase production efficiencies in the cultivation of specialty potatoes for niche markets.

King concludes: "What's great about the results is that this is another example of where a conservation measure can also result in increased income."

 

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