Potato growers in North America, Australia and New Zealand are saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in fertilizer and irrigation costs thanks to new technology developed by scientists at Plant & Food Research.
The potato calculator is a decision-support website that enables growers to optimize nitrogen and water use as well as predict yield and maturity dates. The calculator considers application schedules for nitrogen and water, highlighting deficits or unnecessary surpluses as well as resulting yield, which helps take the guess work out of crop management.
The calculator has been extensively trialed and is now being marketed by Plant & Food Research business unit, CropLogic. Peter Roborgh is CropLogic's general manager. He says the calculator has received an excellent response from growers and processors alike.
The software underlying the calculator was developed by scientists at Plant & Food Research. It contains a simulation model based on a day-by-day understanding of how a potato crop grows and uses up soil supplies of water and nitrogen in response to daily local weather and other unique local factors. It guides the application of nitrogen and water to meet the optimal requirements of the crop while reducing the risk of nitrogen leaching.