LLC "Kostroma Potato" is one of the largest seed potato farms in the Kostroma region. This year the enterprise turns 15 years old. We talk with its director, Alexander Pilipchuk, about the results that have been achieved during this time and how Kostroma Potato lives today.
- Alexander Alekseevich, tell us a little about the history of the economy.
- The company was founded in 2005. At first, it served as a testing and production site for breeding varieties of the German company Norika. The Kostroma region was ideally suited for the creation of a seed farm as one of the most favorable regions in terms of natural and climatic conditions and phytosanitary conditions. The production was organized with the participation of European consultants, using the most modern and advanced technologies. This is how the first Russian batches of seed potatoes of the Gala and Vega varieties were grown on the Kostroma fields.
At the initial stage, work was carried out on only 50 hectares. Potatoes of elite reproductions were grown on this site. Now the farm is also engaged in original seed production, we work with minicubers. The company has already allocated 350 hectares of seed potato production.
- Obviously, the company's products are in demand on the market?
- We produce a high-quality product, this can be confirmed by the fact that today the farm constantly cooperates with very demanding customers: we grow potatoes for Lam Weston Belaya Dacha LLC, HZ PSC Sadokas JSC, Stet Rus LLC ".
In addition, the farm licensed produces Norika breeding potatoes. Each production site is equipped with its own modern set of equipment. All seed lots received are tested and tested for viruses and bacterioses in accredited laboratories.
- The last two years have been successful for Kostroma potato growers (in terms of weather conditions), excellent harvests have been obtained.
Do you agree with this opinion?
- Not really. The years were not easy, as always in agriculture. There were problems that had to be solved, and not hope for luck. But it can be noted that our specialists completed the whole range of agrotechnical measures on time, the weather did not fail at any important stage, and the result exceeded expectations: the average yield in 2019 was at the level of 50 t / ha.
- Are there enough specialists in the farm?
- Unfortunately, the personnel issue is relevant for us. We are always ready to accept talented professionals (agronomists in the first place) into our team who are ready to work with full dedication on the ground.
There are certain difficulties with the selection of seasonal personnel, but this problem in modern agriculture is solved by automating many work processes. Thus, we not only reduce dependence on unskilled manual labor, but also increase productivity and quality stability. How is the process of storing the crop organized?
The company has several potato storages, which provides the opportunity for high-quality storage of seed material. In 2017, we commissioned a new container-type potato storage with a capacity of 2,5 thousand tons, equipped with automated climate control systems. We plan to build another storage facility equipped with refrigeration units so that it will be possible to store seed material for a longer period.
- What else can you tell the readers of the magazine about the plans of the economy for the near future?
- The priority tasks that we set for ourselves are to increase the production of seeds of the PP-1 and SSE class; expansion of the variety line (introduction of new varieties of potatoes that are in demand on the market). We will direct all efforts to their solution.