This case study focuses on sustainable potato production in Poland for the French fry industry.

Potato growers are challenged with maintaining quality, but reducing the environmental impact of production. Irrigation of potatoes is common practice, although water must be used efficiently in a sustainable and economic way.

'Read more' for further details on the case study, updates from the field trials, and the summary field trial leaflet on Potato brown spot:

  • Potato varieties & susceptibility to Tobacco Rattle Virus
  • Optimum calcium fertiliser strategies to avoid adverse effects on crop quality

Contact: Harm Brinks; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Location: northern Poland
Main land use: arable production of potatoes, winter wheat and oilseed rape
Stakeholders: growers, processing and exporting industry, suppliers of seeds, fertilisers and pesticides, extension service and research
Key issues:
o    Techniques to control air borne fungi (especially P. infestans and Alternaria spp.) during the growing season (Decision Support Systems) are required to reduce the currently high fungicide inputs
o    Techniques to control soil born nematodes, especially free living nematodes as a vector for spring disease
o    Optimise fertiliser strategies for N, P, K, Ca & Mg to avoid adverse effects on crop quality and reduce environmental impact - growers are interested in sensor-based fertiliser strategies for precision agriculture as already used in other countries
o    Management practices to improve irrigation water use efficiency and to reduce nitrate leaching losses

VALERIE themes covered:
1. Crop rotation, soil cover management and integrated pest management ►
3. The management of agricultural soils as integrated agro-ecological systems ►
4. Water management in agriculture ►
5. Integrated supply chain services and tools, innovative farm management ►

Case study updates:
• A kickoff meeting with stakeholders was held in July 2014.  Issues were discussed and captured in a ‘structured vocabulary’ (an inventory of related terms linked together into a hierarchical structure).

• The second stakeholder meeting was held in Poland in late January 2015. The meeting brought together disparate stakeholders (case study farmers, seed producers & French fry processors) to exchange knowledge as well as solutions to problems. Reviews of VALERIE innovation factsheets relevant to the case study were positive and potential topics for the field trials were identified.

• A stakeholder meeting will take place in early February 2016 where the results from the VALERIE trials on Tobacco Rattle Virus and on Calcium, as well as the first results from ask-Valerie will be presented.

Field trials:
• Issues to be addressed in the field trials:
o    Potato varieties & susceptibility to Tobacco Rattle Virus (TRV) transmitted by nematodes (Trichodorus spp.)
o    Optimise fertiliser strategies for calcium (Ca) to avoid adverse effects on crop quality

• In Poland, two different trials will be located in fields belonging to stakeholders. The trial aims are:
o    To assess the susceptibility of commercially grown and potentially new varieties for specific strains of Tobacco Rattle Virus (TRV), transmitted by nematodes (Trichodorus spp.)
o    To test two Calcium (Ca) fertilisers for the effect on hollow hearts and reduction of Ca-deficiency symptoms in Russet Burbank. Additionally, for one product to evaluate different fertiliser application timings

• The trials started in spring 2015.


Tobacco Rattle Virus field trial


Field monitoring of tubers


Tuber with hollow heart


Tubers with spraing caused by Tobacco Rattle Virus


The summary (including results) field trial leaflet, 'Potato brown spot issues in the supply chain in northern Poland: testing the susceptibility of potato varieties to Tobacco Rattle Virus' (English version) can be downloaded here