Record amount of good-quality seed potato
The Loimaa Seed Certification Unit. of Food Safety Authority Evira certified last inspection season a record amount of seed potato. The amount of approved seed potato has been slightly on the decrease in the recent years, varying between 22 and 23 million kilograms. Last season production amounted to 26.5 million kilograms. Good export trade in seed potato is one reason for the exceptionally high production volumes.
Seed potato available on the market last spring was also of high external quality. The occurrence of potato scab was exceptionally low. Potato Y virus has plagued potato production everywhere in Europe in the past couple of years. In 2007, the occurrence of Y virus decreased by more than half over the record numbers of 2006, but attention should still be paid to the quality of seed potato. Inspected seed potato has been tested in laboratory and infected batches have been eliminated.
The production area of seed potato has remained unchanged also this season, at ca. 1230 hectares. The five most popular varieties are Nicola, Asterix, Victoria, early potato variety Hankkijan Timo and Saturna used by the starch industry, in this order.
Heavy rain has been a problem for potato growths in Ostrobothnia. At the beginning of August, frost has already bitten crops in the primary production area of seed potato in Northern Ostrobothnia, which means that the growing season will be extremely short there and no record harvests can be expected
Official inspections of seed potato are carried out by Evira. The production of inspected seed potato is a process that consists of many different phases: field inspection, laboratory tests and warehouse inspections.
When a seed potato batch has passed all the inspections carried out over the period of a full year, Evira's Seed Certification Unit certifies the seed potato, i.e. authorises the seed potato for marketing. The official seed potato certificate is only granted to inspected and approved seed potato.
For more information, please contact:
Hanna Kortemaa, Head of Unit, Evira Loimaa, Seed Certification Unit, tel. +358 (0) 20 77 25340 or +358 (0) 40 833 2486
Ismo Koskinen, Senior Officer, Evira Oulu, Seed Certification Unit, tel. +358 (0) 40 580 6634