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How our potatoes grow

About Agristo
Those delicious fries we make? It all starts with the seed potatoes. Seeds that have the strength to sprout. So, at first, the fields look empty. All you spot are the typical mounds. Because the seed’s first priority is taking root in search of water.

Switching energy sources

Once its root system is fully formed, the potato plant starts using its energy to create stems and tubers. These’ll be the tubers harvest once they’re big enough. Up to this point, the potato plant could get its energy from the seedling, the mother plant. Now that it starts tuber growth, it gets its growth mainly from the process of photosynthesis. From now on, starch and stuffing enter the potato.

This phase of potato plant growth needs good weather conditions without the extremes. Because when we were to experience extreme drought and the plant enters a stress situation, it’ll protect itself by curtailing tuber growth, entering ‘survival mode’. As his root system has been fully developed, it can’t further expand roots to look for water deeper into the soil.

A distaste for extreme weather

Yes, our potatoes don’t like the extremes. That goes for drought, but also extreme wet climate conditions. However, the impact of extreme weather depends in which stage of the growth seasons it occurs. Because drought at the first growth stage isn’t necessarily a catastrophe, as the potato plant could still run its roots deeper into the ground to look for water. With wet conditions it’s the same thing: early on the potatoes that’ve rotten from extreme wet conditions will have the time to disappear. If a wet climate kicks in just before harvesting season, the rotting tubers might end up in the warehouse, infecting healthy tubers and creating ‘sick spots’ in the storage silo.

Of course, this doesn’t pose a big problem for early potato varieties as they go straight to the processing plants from the fields. The other varieties that are usually harvested from October end up in storage for a couple of months, up until July the year after.