Yara has recently established a new Incubator Farm in the Columbia Basin of Washington, aimed at exploring how a complete potato crop nutrition program that drives productivity and grower profitability can simultaneously lead to a reduced carbon footprint.
The 260 acre trials will analyze the role of crop nutrition and practices such as 4R nutrient management in supporting the industry's need to continue to produce high yielding, quality crops, while also implementing solutions to decarbonize the value chain.
"The global food chain continues to be under pressure to produce food for a growing world population, while also being tasked with reducing the environmental footprint. These two missions don't have to be mutually exclusive, but take investment in research and exploration to find solutions that both improve farmer profitability and have a nature-positive impact," said Trey Cutts, market development director, Yara North America.
"The Incubator Farm network in North America is designed for this challenge, and we are excited to establish a farm that focuses on such a globally important crop such as the potato."
The farm will enable collaborative research efforts to address sustainability and crop nutrition goals through the latest innovations in digital tools and future focused technologies in the industry. Yara's partners and other industry stakeholders will be invited to leverage the farm's research and findings with the opportunity to see firsthand the benefits of the crop nutrition solutions implemented.
"Yara's new Potato Incubator Farm will bring together findings from large scale trials and innovation-focused small plots - giving us, our partners and the industry valuable insights into the role of crop nutrition in potato production sustainability," said Erika Wagner, potato crop manager, Yara North America. "We envision the farm being a center to drive collaborative research and foster innovation, while working towards Yara's global ambition of growing a nature positive food future."
Field scale trials at the farm will include half pivots of Yara's TopPotato crop nutrition solution and half pivots of grower standard fertility program. There will also be multiple points of data collection throughout the season to evaluate crop performance related to emergence and early vigor, tuber set, resilience to stress, yield, storage and processing quality. On smaller scale plots nearby, Yara will also trial future-focused treatments evaluating nutrient use efficiency, water use efficiency, and soil health initiatives as part of a global strategy to advance regenerative soil health insights.
Yara North America has three additional Incubator Farms in Modesto, CA; Auburn, AL; and Saskatoon, SK. The farms are instrumental in advancing Yara's ambition of "growing a nature positive food future" by building solutions to decrease carbon footprint, improve water and nitrogen use efficiency, regenerate soil sources and more.