The experience of growing potatoes in the Chelyabinsk and Orenburg regions was discussed at an online seminar organized by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Chelyabinsk Region and the South Ural Research Institute of Gardening and Potato Growing. The seminar was attended by specialists from potato-growing enterprises of the Southern Urals, as well as scientists from YuzhUralNIISK, the Federal Scientific Center for Biological Systems and Agricultural Technologies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Orenburg, representatives of the Russian Agricultural Center and other organizations.
Opening the seminar, First Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Chelyabinsk Region, Alexander Zavalishchin, noted that the Chelyabinsk Region stably provides itself with potatoes - on average, 100-110 thousand tons are grown per year, excluding the personal subsidiary farms of citizens. In 2019, the harvest of potatoes in the production sector amounted to more than 132 thousand tons - 130% of the planned indicator, and in all categories of farms - 507 thousand tons. This year, the harvest of potatoes is expected to be less due to the drought - within 90 thousand tons in agricultural organizations and farms.
In order to increase the efficiency of potato production, advanced farms are modernizing the fleet of machines for cultivating this crop, using high-quality seed material, and introducing new highly productive varieties. All this is the basis for the sustainability of potato growing, stressed Alexander Zavalishchin. Nevertheless, in 2019, potato-growing enterprises of the Chelyabinsk region used for planting not only seeds allowed for use in the Ural region, but also non-zoned ones - the area planted with such seeds was half of all potato fields. And this despite the fact that more than 50 varieties of potatoes have been entered into the Register of Breeding Achievements Admitted to Use in the Ural Region. Therefore, the South Ural potato growers need to increase the share of zoned varieties in their crops, especially since the use of seeds of such varieties today is one of the conditions for state support for potato growing, which includes compensatory subsidies, as well as subsidies for the purchase of elite seeds.
In his opening speech, Alexander Zavalishchin also spoke about the infrastructure for storing potatoes and vegetables in the region. The total capacity of all storages today is 174 thousand tons, of which most are with forced ventilation, and 26% of all storages are equipped with refrigeration equipment. Some of these facilities are already considered obsolete, and therefore the First Deputy Minister drew the attention of the webinar participants to the possibility of obtaining subsidies in the event of the construction of new facilities or the modernization of old ones: the state compensates for almost half of the costs of construction and installation work. This kind of support in Chelyabinsk
So far, three farms have used the region: Agro-Resource LLC, Akbashevsky Sovkhoz and AO Krasnoarmeyskoye Agricultural Enterprise, the modernized capacities amounted to 7,2 thousand tons. In 2020, it is planned to build a vegetable storehouse at the Akbashevsky Sovkhoz with a capacity of 2 thousand tons. Irrigation plays an important role in the cultivation of potatoes and vegetables. In the region, the area of irrigated areas of potatoes and vegetables in open ground totals 2800 hectares - more than a third of the total area under crops of these crops. The year 2020 has shown once again that a good and high-quality harvest cannot be obtained without irrigation systems, therefore, the regional Ministry of Agriculture plans to resume attraction of federal subsidies with co-financing from the regional budget for irrigation and drainage activities this year. Cost reimbursement will be up to 70%.
Since one of the organizers of the webinar was the South Ural Research Institute of Horticulture and Potato Growing, many of its employees made reports on the tasks of the institute, breeding and scientific work. The head of the institute, Candidate of Agricultural Sciences Nikolai Glaz outlined the problems solved by the institute in the field of potato seed production, the leading researcher of the potato growing department, doctor of agricultural science Alexander Vasiliev reported on the improvement of potato cultivation technology in the Chelyabinsk region, and the senior researcher of the institute Tamara Dergileva spoke about potato varieties, developed in a scientific institution. Vasily Dergilev, a senior researcher, candidate of agricultural science, announced the creation of optimal conditions for growing seed potatoes in the conditions of 2020.
YUNIISK creates new promising potato varieties, this work is long and requires a creative approach. The Institute today is a branch of the Ural Federal Agrarian Research Center of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and enjoys the scientific and material support of the Center.
Promising potato varieties of the YUNIISK selection are also tested and grown in the neighboring Orenburg region. A scientist from the Federal Scientific Center for Biological Systems and Agricultural Technologies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, Alexander Mushinsky, spoke about the results of tests in the irrigated conditions of the steppe zone of the Orenburg region.
Also at the webinar, a speech was made by a representative of the Bayer company, which supplies plant protection products. Lyudmila Kuznetsova spoke about the results of testing the company's drugs on various crops in the farms of the Chelyabinsk region. Ksenia Vanina, the acting head of the branch of the Federal State Budgetary Institution "Rosselkhoztsentr" in the Chelyabinsk region, reported to the webinar participants about the phytosanitary state of potato plantings, about diseases and pests that threaten this crop.
A seminar on potato growing for industry specialists was held in the Chelyabinsk region using Internet technology for the first time and turned out to be very rich and interesting. This was noted by all participants of the online conference. Of course, there was no live communication, direct exchange of experience, nevertheless, everyone learned for himself and his work a lot of new and useful things. For this event, YUNIISK issued a special book with the materials of the seminar and other works that will be in demand by all potato producers in the region.