We are happy to announce that YFN Georgia is conducting potato variety trials on a 10 ha irrigated plot in Sartichala Village, Kakheti Region. Several varieties of seed potato are likely to be in the ground by the end of this week.
We will be producing several varieties of potato from German breeders, specifically designed for the snackfood market. Our client is building a potato crisp factory in Georgia and wishes to evaluate potential preferred varieties before commencing production.
The trial will be carried out on a centre-pivot irrigated property. Centre pivots and lateral moves are widely used in potato production abroad, as they require very little labour to operate, have a service life in excess of 20 years, administer water with great precision, and mimic natural rainfall quite well (some sprinkler units and rainguns can cause plant damage at critical development phases).
Detailed soil analyses have already been conducted and a Precision Agriculture nutrition plan has already been developed. A mixture of in-row solid fertiliser and foliar spray, administered at very low cost through the pivot, will be used with plant tissue tests , conducted in our US partner lab, guiding application rates and frequency.
Modern crop care procedures are in place, including sterilisation of rented equipment with chlorine bleach, prophylactic insecticide and fungicide use, and regular strategic use of European crop care chemical throughout the season. We will be using insect traps to monitor insect populations and schedule pesticide application as needed. Daily crop scouting is part of our management regime throughout the season.
We will be placing two Sentek soil moisture probes on the site, with daily data retrieval by waterproof Solo handset and downloading of data into our Irrimax irrigation scheduling software. This will assist us to correctly schedule and administer water to the crop dependent on crop needs, to control water pumping costs, enhance yields and quality, and reduce unnecessary overwatering that may increase the risk of fungal disease.
We will post updates as the trial proceeds until its conclusion in September.