Research aims to break the potato yield plateau

An increasing disconnect between scientific advances and their practical application is being blamed for the lack of any large step changes in potato yields since the end of the Second World War. That is despite the relentless amount of scientific research being published, which continues to grow, said NIAB CUF head of agronomy David Firman. Since the mid-1990s, there has been a plateau in maincrop potato yields in the UK at about 44.6t/ha, which can be attributed to many factors. “Keeping up with the vast scientific research is difficult and increasingly complex, and the adoption of advances can take a decade or more,” said Dr Firman. This could be because growers may not be convinced of the benefits or it is not economic to put into practice. Dr Firman addressed delegates at the recent Cambridge University Potato Growers Research Association meeting. More