On the margins of the branch of the Caspian Agrarian Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the Astrakhan region, tests of early ripe Belarusian varieties of potato Uladar are underway. Agronomists are waiting for the first crop at the end of June.
The interest here is mutual: Belarus is looking for new seed markets, and the Astrakhan region needs constant updating of potato varieties.
According to the senior scientific researcher of the research institute, candidate of agricultural science Tamara Boeva, it is difficult to reproduce potatoes in the Astrakhan region: due to the hot climate and the accumulation of insect pests, the varieties lose their original characteristics after three to four years. Therefore, seed growers are constantly working to prevent the degeneration of varieties, as well as experiencing new species.
The agreement on cooperation between the Astrakhan region and Belarus has been in force since 1999.
“We planted this potato on April 9, the seedlings were friendly, buds are already being formed,” says Tamara Boeva, demonstrating seedlings in experimental plots. - “Uladar” in translation from Belarusian is a sovereign, let's see how it will show itself. According to the description, the variety is good: the red color of the fruit is oval, and the quality is excellent.
Astrakhan scientists planted ten kilograms of Uladar seeds in floodplain soils and as many in sandy loamy soil. Plants were treated against rodents and insect larvae.
All plantings were done manually, mechanized only the processes of plowing, cultivation and watering - drip irrigation systems were installed on the beds. Agronomists will also collect potatoes manually, examining each bush, measuring the height of the stems and counting the number of fruits and their weight. According to Astrakhan, under favorable conditions, the yield of Belarusian potatoes will be 45 tons per hectare.
Having collected the first crop in late June, agronomists will plant the second batch of seeds next month - another 20 kilograms, and in October they will summarize the experiment and submit a report to Belarus. By the way, “potato” cooperation is mutually beneficial: Polotsk, Novopolotsk and Minsk have been buying early Astrakhan potatoes for several years now.
“In June, when the season of harvesting early potatoes is in Astrakhan, shipment is 40-60 tons per day, since it is not ripening in Belarus at that time,” said the official representative of the Astrakhan region Raisa Beresten. - A late potato, on the contrary, Astrakhan buys in Belarus, this is our mutually beneficial cooperation.