Dutch potato breeding company Meijer Potato recently launched a digital robustness index.
With the potato being the third largest food crop in the world, the breeding company believes robust potato varieties are necessary to provide a growing world population with healthy food in the face of climate change.
With the index, the company aims to allow users to compare the robustness of varieties. ‘In this way we can present all our collected data on new and existing varieties to our customers in a clear manner and thus provide the right focus in the different areas where our varieties grow,’ commercial director Johan van der Stee told PotatoWorld magazine during the Potato Variety Days 2021.
The robustness index includes seven items made up of different variety characteristics: marketable yield, climate adaptation, soil adaptation, crop protection efficiency, fertilizer efficiency, water efficiency and storability. By varying the importance of these items in the digital tool, the customer can select the most suitable variety in a more targeted manner.
‘We want to use the index to ensure that the chance of mistakes is much smaller. That is very important nowadays, as cultivation is becoming more and more expensive and the market is becoming more demanding,’ the commercial director emphasized. Van der Stee also has a next step in mind: ‘Based on a list of requirements, we want customers to be presented with a variety that fits their company perfectly. And, we can also use such a list as input for the focus of our breeding program.’
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