Beijing/China -- At the 9th World Potato Congress, Bayer CropScience is showcasing its latest innovations and contributions for sustainable potato production. Under the theme ‘Innovating Together for Sustainable Potatoes’ experts from the company will present recent product novelties and new approaches that underline the role of Bayer CropScience as the innovation leader in its field. The 9th World Potato Congress takes place from July 28 to 30 in China, at the Badaling International Conference and Exhibition Center, near Beijing.
Bayer CropScience is committed to supporting potato farmers worldwide in their efforts to produce high-yielding, premium-quality potatoes in a sustainable way. The company offers integrated, tailor-made crop solutions comprising effective chemical and biological crop protection products as well as specialized crop consultancy, service and support in environmental protection, efficiency and safety. “At Bayer we are fully committed to delivering on our mission statement ‘Science For A Better Life’ by sharing our vast expertise and providing new technologies to farmers,” explains Albert Schirring, Global Potato Manager. “Our core competencies lie in developing and supplying integrated crop solutions that are locally adapted and tailored to the individual needs of our customers, who are mainly farmers but also include other stakeholders along the potato value chain. The common goal is to help drive a sustainable productivity increase and to improve crop quality.”
“I am very excited about the World Potato Congress taking place in China this year. With the Chinese central government’s decision to position potatoes as an alternative staple food, the crop is expected to play an important role in safeguarding the domestic food supply,” says Rob Hulme, Country Head of Bayer CropScience in China. “The country is already today the largest producer of potatoes worldwide and potato cultivation still has huge untapped potential in terms of quantity and quality. Apart from contributing to Chinese food security and more diversity in diets, higher consumption of the tuber crop could help promote long-term sustainability of the local agriculture. Compared to other staple crops, growing potatoes is less demanding in terms of water requirements and relies much less on irrigation,” he explains.
Product innovations and integrated potato management approaches to address the increasing demand for sustainable solutions
To address the individual needs of farmers around the world, Bayer CropScience can draw on a strong and modern portfolio of crop protection products. Among the key innovations presented at the congress are the seed treatment product Emesto, a high performing fungicide to manage tuber and soil diseases, Movento, an innovative tool to provide sustainable control of the Zebra disease vectored by psyllids and Velum, a powerful tool for control of nematodes with a favorable safety and environmental profile offering long-lasting control at very low application rates.
In addition, the control of pest and diseases with biological products holds significant potential. A recent company innovation in this field is the biological fungicide Serenade, which enhances Integrated Pest Management systems and provides a new tool in resistance management when used in combination or rotation with chemicals. Another important benefits are the short pre-harvest and re-entry intervals providing high flexibility in application timing for the farmer.
To assist potato farmers on a daily basis, Bayer CropScience can call upon a large network of agronomists around the world to provide expertise in production practices. In this way, the company helps ensure that quality standards in potato cultivation are high and are continuously improved. Dedicated teams with a deep understanding of specific regional growing conditions provide tailored agronomic support and training on safe use and good agricultural practices to farmers and support them in acquiring specialist know-how and skills to better serve the needs of the value chain.
Reaching across the value chain: superior customer-focused solutions
Besides assisting farmers in the field, Bayer CropScience fosters stronger links along the supply chain to promote sustainable agriculture. In its Food Chain Partnership projects, the company brings together farmers, traders, processors and retailers for the benefit of all partners involved and ultimately the consumer at home. Building on the company’s profound agronomic knowledge and value chain expertise, the common goal of the Food Chain Partnership initiatives is to improve yields and the quality of the harvested produce, helping to drive a productivity and efficiency increase based on sustainable agricultural practices. Customers and partners benefit from efficient traceability systems, support for global certification and extensive market access know-how.
Farming Plus is an innovative service tool that is used in Food Chain Partnership projects with farmers worldwide. It allows users to measure and monitor the sustainability performance of existing grower practices against a set of economic, environmental and social criteria. Direct interactions with growers and partners promote the continuous improvement of production practices on and beyond the farm towards greater sustainability.
Potatoes – a versatile crop for the world’s cooking pots
Potatoes spell diversity and variety: in tastes and flavors, in local and regional preferences and in health benefits. Containing hardly any fat but lots of starch, vitamins and minerals, potatoes are a valuable element of a healthy diet. There are more than 5,000 potato varieties around the world and they grow in almost all kinds of climate conditions: from the cold Andean slopes to the tropical plains in Asia. The tuber is increasingly being used for processing as French fries, dumplings or croquettes as these products become more and more popular.
Improved crop management around the globe is promoting continuous productivity gains. The total world production of potatoes in 2013 was estimated at 376 million tons, representing an increase of more than 20 percent over the last two decades. As the largest producer of potatoes, China accounts for more than 25 percent of the world’s production. With a comparably low average productivity rate of about 17 tons per hectare, the country still has great potential relative to Europe (30 tons per hectare) and the USA (more than 40 tons per hectare) to further enhance its yields.
The World Potato Congress – promoting sustainability in potato production
The World Potato Congress takes place every three years. It provides a unique opportunity for around 900 growers, traders, processors as well as scientists around the globe to share insights and uncover vital new knowledge with a focus on both local and international needs and best practices. Under the theme ‘Develop together for a better future’ the congress offers an extensive program of plenary sessions, symposia and field tours as a platform for information exchange, trade and cooperation.
About Bayer CropScience
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, has annual sales of EUR 9,494 million (2014) and is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 23,100 and is represented in more than 120 countries. This and further news is available at: www.press.bayercropscience.com.