Towards a RESilient POTato cropping system (RESPOT)
In RESPOT staat de ontwikkeling en introductie van een nieuw aardappel teeltsysteem, dat schade door Phytophthora infestans voorkomt door gebruik te maken van resistente diploïde hybride aardappelrassen, gecombineerd met innovaties in de teelt van deze rassen, centraal. RESPOT leidt tot een drastische vermindering van het gebruik van chemische gewasbeschermingsmiddelen, gericht tegen P. infestans.
RESPOT contributes to MMIP A2, priority 4: healthy, resilient soil, plants and cropping systems, resistant to abiotic (climate resistant) and biotic stress
The objective of MMIP A2 is an agriculture and horticulture in The Netherlands in 2030 which includes a sustainable, economically sound production on a healthy soil on the basis of less opportunities for disease and pests. Within Priority 4, two approaches are central: 1. an integral systems approach from the perspective of the farmer and 2. solving actual bottlenecks which contribute to healthy, resilient soil and cropping systems.
RESPOT fits well in MMIP 2A, Priority 4 as RESPOT will develop and implement a cropping system on the basis of P. infestans resistant diploid hybrid potato cultivars in order to strongly reduce disease infestation and subsequent application of Chemical Crop Protection Agents (CCPA) and simultaneously countering the devastating effects of P. infestans on potato yield and quality. The envisaged cropping system involves both good agricultural practice and Integrated Pest Management approaches. The anticipated reduction in use of fossil resources due to less CCPA application and less storage and transport of starting material also contributes to MMIP A2.
- Current P. infestans control heavily depends on Chemical Crop Protection Agents (CCPA). Up to 15 times in a growing season CCPA are applied to potato crops, accumulating to an amount of 1500 tonnes active ingredients on an annual basis in The Netherlands only. Dutch regulation aims to minimize the need of CCPA in the near future. Harmful emissions have to be reduced and even prevented, which is one of the goals of both MMIP A2 and RESPOT.
- In order to empower the Dutch potato growers in reducing the use of CCPAs, innovation in Integrated Pest Management and cropping protocols is needed. The introduction in potato cropping of robust diploid hybrid potato cultivars, harbouring multiple resistances to P. infestans, is an innovation in resistance management leading to a dramatic reduction in the use of CCPA in P. infestans control. Introduction of such cultivars in the Dutch potato growing sector is only feasible upon development and introduction of a cropping system which encompasses both effective IPM strategies and cropping protocols. Such a cropping system is aimed at by MMIP2 and developed in RESPOT.
- A potato cropping system starting with true potato seed instead of potato tubers guarantees a pathogen free status at the start of the cultivation as in seed no pathogens accumulate across generations as is the case during seed tuber production cycles, thus promoting resilience in cultivation and supporting the aims of MMIP2.
RESPOT will reduce the environmental footprint of agriculture by reducing Chemical Crop
Agents (CCPAs) in controlling the main potato disease, Phytophthora infestans. RESPOT puts the bewly developed Phytophthora resistant diploid hybrid potato breeding cultivars into practice by developing and implementing an IPM strategy tailored towards cultivation of potatoes from true seed to harvest. RESPOT, thereby, develops, communicates and disseminates a potato cropping system, tailored to adoption- and cultivation of diploid, hybrid potato cultivars by farmers.
The project is divided into five Work Packages (WP) and the deliverables for WP1-WP4 are as follows (WP5 relates to Management tasks):
- Maximum transplant vigor by optimizing growing conditions and seedling management during transplant production.
- Crop management method to enhance early vigor of transplants after transplanting into the field.
- Fertilizer management method to enhance tuber yield and to optimize nitrogen husbandry.
- Reduction of CCPA application in potato cultivation.
WP2 IPM control strategy
- Monitoring of the P. infestans population with respect to SSR based genotype and virulence.
- IPM Control strategy: various biological and chemical control options currently being marketed and developed are tested for efficacy to control potato late blight, early blight and other diseases.
- Decision Support Systems to optimize the application of (additional) biological or chemical control options.
WP3 Life cycle assessment
- Advice for improvement of the environmental impacts of the envisaged cropping system and its supply chain based on the largest contributions to these impacts, at the start and the end of the project.
- A first comparison of the environmental performance of the envisaged cropping system relative to a benchmark from conventional cultivation, at the start and the end of the project.
WP4 Transition, communication and dissemination
- A dedicated RESPOT website.
- RESPOT results published.
- Demonstrations for stakeholders at trial locations.
- Survey on the technical and economic consequences of the transition process from a seed potato based ware potato growing system to a TPS-based system for potato growers.
Overview of activities over time: