May this year in most regions of Russia started from almost summer temperatures. Many farms landed noticeably ahead of schedule. Although the potato growers entered the field with a different mood and differently assess the prospects of the new season.
Valery Kolmykov, head of FE Head of the farm “Kolmykov Valery Vasilyevich”, Samara region
130 ha under potatoes
- Last year we allotted 300 hectares for potatoes, this year we planted 130 hectares. Unfortunately, I see no future for this culture, at least in our region.
Potato prices in our country fell to their lowest level back in 2014, it was difficult to stay on the brink of profitability. But for the last two seasons we have just been working at a loss. Judge for yourself: the cost of potatoes by the middle of winter (including storage costs) is about 8 rubles / kg. We had to sell large batches to dealers at 5-6 rubles / kg. Some of the neighboring farms tried to hold back "until more favorable prices", but summer came, and prices did not change. On the shelves in stores there are potatoes from Egypt, India, Pakistan, no one is interested in our product.
The situation is similar with other cultures of "borsch set", so we are gradually replacing onions, carrots, beets in our fields with more popular soy, winter wheat, and corn. It's a shame, but there is no other way.
I think that many growers in our region will follow the same path. Moreover, there are other prerequisites for this. One of the most alarming signals is the record shallowing of the Kuibyshev reservoir. This spring, the water receded from the coast by about 300-350 meters. If the situation does not change, vegetable growers will be left without water for irrigation. In our climate, this means no harvest.
Alexander Ishutinov, Head of IP Ishutinov Alexander Vitalievich (Peasant Farm), Sverdlovsk Region
100 ha under potatoes
- We did not finish the last season perfectly: the price of potatoes was lower than usual and did not rise even by the end of spring. But they sold the entire volume, and not at cost.
Planting began a week earlier than usual, the weather conditions are still good: warm, the ground warmed up, the rain has passed - you can work. The area under the potatoes is insignificant, but increased. Perhaps we will add more next year.
Traditionally, we plant one variety - Red Scarlett, for us it is optimal both in terms of yield and shelf life. In addition, in our region, red-peel varieties are more in demand. We update only the seed material.
But in parallel, we are trying other options. So this year seeds of new varieties came, we will test in experimental plots. If you like the result, you can expand the range.
By the new season, we bought a potato harvester, we are waiting for it by the middle of summer and we hope that the harvesting will be at the highest level.
In general, the mood is optimistic, while everything is going well.
Arsentiy Ivanov, Head of IP Arsentiy Viktorovich Ivanov, Republic of Mari El
65 ha under potatoes
- Last year, our potatoes did not have time to ripen by the beginning of autumn, the peel was fragile, as a result, the harvest suffered greatly during harvesting. Good prices for the whole season also could not be expected. We sold almost everything we raised, but earned a little. As a result, for the first time in many years, they were unable to renew the fleet of equipment: there were no funds.
This year, planting began a little later than usual: the ground was damp. Now (as of May 14, - from the editors) we are completing the work, there are still just 2-3 days left. The weather is excellent, about + 30 ° С, the ground is hot. It is necessary to be in time before the frost, forecasters promise to drop the temperature to zero by the end of the week.
A little more area was allocated for potatoes than before (a difference of 10 hectares). We plant European varieties (Queen Anna, Laura), they show good results with us. We acquire seed material in specialized farms with which we have been working for a long time. This year they bought seeds at the same prices as before.
Denis Chechulin, Head of the Kalina Farm, Kaliningrad Region
115 ha under potatoes
- The total area allotted for potatoes on the farm has not changed this year, but we distributed the land a little differently: in half between seed and table potatoes. Previously, the emphasis was on canteen production. But we have a maritime climate favorable for seed production, so there are prospects for the development of this particular direction. Now we are cooperating with a number of European companies, we take several varieties of super-super-elite for reproduction, and then the resulting material is sold in Russia.
This year, planting began at standard dates, in April. Ware potatoes were planted by the beginning of May, now (May 14, - from the editor) we are engaged in seed, the work will last approximately another week.
Weather conditions can be called favorable, if we talk only about potatoes. It’s warm here, but for a long time it was very dry, since the end of March a month and a half has not fallen on the fields. For other cultures, the situation was not the best. But now it’s raining, so the situation has improved.
Alexander Vyazov, agronomist KFH Vyazov Aleksey Ivanovich, Nizhny Novgorod region
30 ha under potatoes
- Landing this year was carried out at standard terms, promptly, completed in mid-May. The weather conditions were even too favorable, it was hot.
About the same amount of land was allocated for potatoes as a year earlier; we are not planning to increase the area yet, we believe that it is more promising to work on productivity.
In the new season we will grow new varieties for us: Vega, Queen Anna, Rodrigo. These were chosen not only for their yield indicators and commercial quality, but also because they managed to find seed material of decent quality at a reasonable price. There were other interesting offers, the characteristics of the varieties were very attractive, but after receiving the results of a tuber analysis, I had to refuse the purchase