The aim of our studies is to incorporate new control practices in seed potato production to reduce the use of inputs including pesticides and to preserve the ecosystem. The innovations we target are intercropping management, varietal resistance, tools for assessing the health status and alternative practices to the use of pesticides.
Identification and evaluation of control methods
Practices identified in the literature, and through field surveys, etc., are evaluated in field trials. Further experiments are conducted under controlled conditions to understand the effects of the different practices on the epidemiological traits of the pathogens.
© infoPlant is a tool developed by FN3PT (French Federation of Seed Potato Growers) to ensure the traceability of the agronomic practices used for seed potato crops that can be combined with data on disease assessment in the related seed lots and can be used to identify innovative practices:
Management of the intercropping period
The period between the previous crops and the potato crop can be very long (for example, about 8 months between wheat and potato) and if poorly managed, may favor the development of pathogens. The aim here is to identify practices to reduce the stock of disease inoculum in the soil, with a particular focus on:
- Managing the decomposition of the residues of the previous crops
- Assessing the effect of green manures on disease reduction
Designing new combinations of crop practices for the effective management of potato pests and diseases
Currently available methods of control are only partially effective. Combining them should help achieve maximum effectiveness. The combined practices currently under evaluation for their effectiveness and feasibility are:
- green manure/ biofumigation & rotation;
- green manure / biofumigation & resistant/tolerant varieties;
- green manure / biofumigation & biocontrol agents;
- and more generally, integrated control strategies for one or several pathogens.