In the course of the morning Levente showed his parcels of potatoes, carrots, red onions and parsley, and gave a detailed description of his production technology. Because he produces several varieties of potato on a large area, his technology heavily emphasizes prevention, using conditioning agents on the foliage and regularly employing copper as a preventative agent. In spite of proximity to Kapos he regularly irrigates in order to reach high average yields. Depending on variety and year he generally achieves 30 to 60 tons per hectare. Among his varieties some of the most dominant include Desirée, but out of curiosity he tries new varieties each year. During the field excursion we were able to see 14 different varieties, among them two purple potatoes.
After viewing the fields we were able to see the machines, too – Levente has employed creative and budget-friendly solutions in this area, which were received with great interest by those of our colleagues with technical inclinations.
Production development is inseparable from product development – it was with this thought that we invited Peter Kazi, director of the organic division of Zabosfa Inc. to join us for the field day, as well as Zsolt Polgár, director of Keszthely Potato Research Center. In the course of a post-lunch discussion Peter introduced the others to Zabosfa`s evolution and activities, and concluded with a discussion of important things to know from the buyer`s standpoint about organic potatoes. In terms of the one-kilo packages of product typically available in chain supermarkets outstanding quality is particularly important – organic potatoes must not have greening tubers, or any indication of reduced storage shelf life, for example, fusarium. From the standpoint of packing and consumption a predetermined diameter of product is optimal, and varieties should be chosen accordingly. The Hungarian market tends to prefer the rose-colored peel but there is some demand for yellow as well. In terms of boiling potatoes there is no overwhelming preference – for this to happen consumer awareness must be increased.
In light of all the above it is worth determining the future goals of farm`s research: out of the 15 varieties examined in the last three years those with the highest and the healthiest production levels should be chosen, and through sampling determine the general distribution of the tubers’ circumferance.