Why use certified seed to grow potatoes
Potatoes are a great staple food and are relatively easy to grow and achieve a good level of success. I remember as a child finding some shooting Kennebecs in the pantry. I dug a hole, planted them and periodically watered them until they died off and were ready to harvest. I remember the anticipation of finding out what was underneath each plant, as well as the joy of digging up great big potatoes and bringing them in to show mum!
So why should a home gardener consider using certified seed?
One of the things I noticed during my home garden escapades, was that the potatoes I planted seemed clean, however the potatoes that I dug up would often be covered in scabs. I learned that once diseases like common scab are introduced to the soil they are generally there to stay!
1. Low Disease
Using certified seed means that a buyer can be confident that the producer has taken significant steps to attain the national standard for being relatively free of viruses, pests and disease. This usually means that the seed has been grown in paddocks that either haven’t had potatoes grown in them before or have been tested to show that the soil has a very low disease presence. By starting with clean seed stock, both farmers and backyard growers can reduce contamination to their soil and give the crop its best chance to thrive.
2. Purpose Built Storage
Agronico store seed in a purpose build facility where the temperature is maintained around 3 degrees and the air is continually refreshed to allow the potatoes to breathe, both of which are critical to preserving the quality of the seed over time. (Potatoes are a living tissue and are continually taking in oxygen and expiring carbon dioxide just like people need to)!
3. Quality Product – Supported by Scientific Understanding
Agronico has invested over 20 years of research and refinement of commercial production for the Australian potato industry. Over the course of this journey, many of the technical challenges of growing and storing seed potatoes have been overcome, which has enabled us to deliver a product that is high quality and ready to grow!
So, if you’re going to go to the effort of growing potatoes, using certified seed is one way to help set yourself up for success both in the short and longer term!