What will be the year 2018 for potato growers is impossible to predict. But spring in different parts of our country set a good start. We will wait for no less successful summer!
Igor Kartuzov, Potato LLC, Sverdlovsk Region
100 ha under potatoes
- We meet the new season with a positive attitude. This year in the Sverdlovsk region there are optimal conditions for planting potatoes: it is dry, not hot, not cold. The work is now carried out at a high pace, we are in the fields for 12-14 hours and we hope that by May 25 (from this date forecasters promise rainy weather in the region) everything necessary will be done, all the "tails" will be cleaned up.
The main changes in our economy in 2018 concerned the varietal policy: we made a lurch towards domestic selection, now 40% of the total volume of cultivated varieties are the achievements of Russian (and primarily the Ural) science. Our farm has been showing interest in the Ural varieties for several years, we are attracted by the proximity of the Ural Research Institute of Agriculture to us, and the quality of their seed material, and the cost of these products. Our farm already has experience in growing many varieties of the Agricultural Research Institute (such as Irbitsky, Gornyak, Bravo, etc.), there is an understanding - which of them are suitable for washing and cleaning, which are stored longer. Local selection of potatoes is in demand in our stores, and we supply it not only in our region, but also beyond its borders.
I think in the next season, if everything goes well, we will allocate even more area for the Ural varieties and grow potatoes in equal proportions to domestic and foreign (Germany, Holland).
It is too early to build plans for the crop this season, much will depend on how the summer develops. But we expect that the average yield on our fields will be in the range of 25-30 t / ha (the numbers are not high, since we mainly produce seed potatoes and table potatoes of early varieties).
Vladimir Volkov, director of Shatki agricultural holding company, Nizhny Novgorod region
50 ha under potatoes
- Spring in our region pleased us with good weather, we cannot complain about the air temperature or the amount of precipitation - the potatoes were planted in ideal conditions and at the optimum time. Planting work was completed in mid-May. The only thing that added a fly in the ointment to the general mood was the soaring prices for fuels and lubricants.
This year we have increased the area under potatoes by 20 hectares, we want to increase production volumes. For cultivation, we selected proven varieties: Skarb, LaBella, Gala, Agata. Thus, we will receive products with different maturities and will be able to offer customers goods for every taste: white, yellow and red potatoes.
Evgeny Yakovlev, representative of “IP Yakovlev D.E.”, Kostroma region
38 ha under potatoes
- We are finishing the landing (as of May 23, ed.), In my opinion, in excellent weather conditions. We hope that the whole season will turn out well.
Last year, we got a good harvest (although we had to work hard for this, the number of treatments for plant protection was doubled) and it was profitably implemented. In this, amid success, the area was slightly increased. We update a set of varieties annually, we grow both foreign and domestic. This year, the Vektar Belarussky variety was added to the lineup. Experts say that it shows decent results on clay soils, and in our economy there are such sites.
Alexander Shatalov, Director of Melen Potato LLC, Bryansk Region
1450 ha under potatoes
- The farm completed planting on May 16, which is a little later than usual. This year, a lot of snow fell in our region, and due to the cold spring, high humidity persisted for a long time. Compared to last year, the area for potatoes has increased by 150 hectares.
Varieties for growing are selected only high-yielding, giving a guaranteed result and in demand on the market. Traditionally for our economy, this is Red Scarlett, Impala, Vineta. Also this year we are introducing a new Leoni variety.
I’m not ready to make assumptions about the harvest, but I think that the result should be no worse than last year.
Alexey Semenov, Head of Agrokhmel LLC, Chuvash Republic
70 ha under potatoes
- Planting (on May 24, - from the editors) is still ongoing, and for our region this fact cannot be considered a violation of agronomic terms. We are reducing the area under potatoes in 2018; this trend has been continuing in our farm for several years in a row (in 2011, there were 200 hectares of potatoes). Reason: unstable product prices. Depending on the market situation, we can sell potatoes at 10 or 15 rubles / kg, and sometimes you have to pay 5 rubles / kg. It is very difficult to predict how much should be grown this season in order not to be at a loss in the fall. To develop the industry, in my opinion, it is necessary to introduce state regulation.
Another problem is the lack of people in the countryside. We are not able to pay high salaries, and the number of workers is naturally decreasing.
We grow different varieties of potatoes: Ramona, Red Scarlett, Gala, Luck, Nevsky, Zhukovsky wound., Rocco. We are also engaged in the production of seed potatoes, grow minitubers, in the fall we will get super-super elite.
Valery Berezovsky, head of the farm "Egorsha", Tula region.
40 ha under potatoes
- The season started well, landing took place under favorable conditions. Certain areas are allotted for potatoes on the farm, annually we plant about 30-40 hectares. The farm specializes in growing seed potatoes of high reproduction, this is a very laborious and complex process, so we do not plan to increase the volume.
We work with a wide range of varieties - both domestic and foreign. Seeds of domestic varieties are mainly sold to retail customers. As a rule, these seeds are purchased by people interested in the production of environmentally friendly products (individual farms, "summer residents"). Potatoes of Russian selection can be grown practically without the use of "chemistry". We offer foreign varieties of seed to industrial enterprises.
Of the difficulties of 2018, which will definitely affect the autumn results, I can note the difficult end of the last season. Since the start of deliveries of imported new-growing potatoes to Russia, the price of domestic food potatoes in our country has fallen sharply. Many farms that did not manage to sell their crops before spring suffered losses, some were forced to put up the remaining volumes for planting, adding 100-200 ha to the planned areas. Together with these enterprises, seed farms also suffered, as the demand for their products fell sharply.