We are currently repositioning ourselves to become a leader in the fruit and vegetable sector. Potatoes are now a key focus for us and we are driving innovation and looking for solutions for the industry, especially important given the current challenges in the industry such as the ever evolving regulations for plant protection products and climate change. We have a rich innovation and R&D pipeline and we are working hard to create solutions to these issues facing modern agriculture.
With a rapidly growing population, the world is increasingly dependent on our ability to develop and maintain sustainable agriculture and healthy environments. Working with farmers, agricultural professionals, pest management experts and others, it is our role to help make this possible. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D pipeline and broad portfolio, including seeds and traits, chemical and biological crop protection, soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we connect innovative thinking and down-to-earth action to create real world ideas that work – for farmers, society and the planet.
The Potato Cycle
Take a look at the potato cycle below to find out more about our upcoming innovation and what we're doing to help growers get the most from their crops.
1. Seed Potato
The UK potato market is moving towards more advanced liquid formulations and we are bringing our formulation expertise to help develop innovations which will protect the seed from diseases and pests.
Studies have shown that it is not only important to store and grow the crop well but it is also important to maintain seed quality to reduce to reduce likelihood of disease in the potato crop and to maximise likelihood of a successful and high quality crop (Tadesse et al, 2020). Healthy seeds at planting mean better yields.
Watch this space to find out more about our innovations currently being developed.
After seed selection, planting is the next most important stage to get right as good crop protection now will ensure the crop gets away quickly, evenly and healthily, maintaining quality at harvest.
ALLSTAR® which was realised in 2017 is an in-furrow fungicide which is used to protect the growing tubers from damage by pathogens which helps produce good looking, quality produce.
ALLSTAR® is currently being ‘put to the test’ using new digital technology from Hummingbird. You will be able to see the results when published later this year.
Wireworm have detrimental impacts on your crops health. The images show the damaging impact of wireworm to potato crops which will impact the end product especially if you are selling into supermarkets which is likely to lead to nonconformity in grading.
BASF are currently working on a product set to be approved in a few years called BAS 480 which will help reduce wireworm damage. Applied during the planting stage, this product is a biological which though a combination of effects will reduce damage to your crop. The images show the damaging impact of wireworm to potato crops which will impact the end product especially if you are selling into supermarkets which is likely to lead to nonconformity in grading.
3. Weed Control
Weed control is important as is vital to reduce competition to maximise crop health and yield. Unfortunately managing weeds is getting more and more difficult due to a reducing herbicide ‘toolbox’. It is therefore becoming increasingly important to use several active ingredients together in a programme to ensure you can control the wide spectrum of weeds.
We are bringing new innovation to help with this issue. A new active ingredient for potatoes is being developed called BAS 656. BAS 656 will add useful control of a number of tricky weeds to growers armoury.
4. Plant Growth
Plant growth is a fundamental stage in the crops lifecycle as this will determine how successful the crop will perform in terms of yield and quality. Two of the biggest threats are pests and diseases, and in particular, potato blight, and aphids can cause serious issues. Therefore it is important to maintain good control over these to minimise the impact on your crops.
We are developing two new products to help in this area and maximise the success of your crops, a blight control product and a new aphicide.
Desiccation is a critical stage for crop management as this enables growers to stop bulking when tubers reach the desired size. With recent product revocations to proven products in this area, haulm management requires more thought.
We are working in this area to bring more solutions to growers.
Storage is critical to get correct as this avoids spoilage of the crop. With the imminent demise of CIPC, traditional sprout suppression programmes are going to have change as new products come into replace it. BASF is working on innovations that will help maintain the quality of your potatoes right through the storage period.