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Potato growing difficult due to climate change

Potato growing difficult due to climate change

31.10.2012

In the wake of climate change, agricultural experts believe that the growing conditions for potatoes in northern Germany will deteriorate significantly. The drought during the summer months in particular could have a lasting impact on the yield of potato farmers, the graduate geographer Monika von Haaren from the Lower Saxony Chamber of Agriculture told the news agency "dpa".

For centuries, potatoes have been one of the most popular basic foodstuffs for Germans. The sandy soils of northern Germany are particularly good for cultivation, but they can only store a little water. Therefore, the increasingly dry summer months due to climate change are a problem that should not be underestimated for northern German potato cultivation.

Irrigation has to be optimized The expert from the Lower Saxony Chamber of Agriculture explains that the north German potato farmers have to adjust to hotter, drier summers due to climate change and thus difficult cultivation conditions. "Then when the plants need it, there will be less rainfall," the geographer told the "dpa." Von Haaren says that farmers are forced to optimize the irrigation of their fields. In their view, the high investments required for this should also be supported by politicians.

Climate change favors the spread of pests However, the changed weather conditions not only have a direct influence on the cultivation conditions, they can also have an indirect adverse effect by favoring the spread of pests in northern Germany. All in all, the potato growers are asked to adapt to the changed framework conditions as quickly as possible and, for example, to secure an adequate yield in the future by using robust potato plants. (fp)

Image: Dieter Sch├╝tz / pixelio.de

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