In a pioneering effort aimed at addressing climate change, Branston, the largest potato supplier in the UK, has taken the lead in a project aimed at reducing the carbon footprint associated with potato farming, as detailed in a recent news article by Farmers Guide.
This multi-year project, now in its second phase, is supported by funding from Innovate UK and features a collaborative partnership with agritech firm B-hive Innovations, the University of Lincoln, and various other key stakeholders.
The primary objective of this initiative centres on optimising crop nutrition, with a particular focus on the responsible use of nitrogen-based fertilisers, which significantly contribute to the carbon emissions associated with potato farming. The project’s team is actively engaged in conducting field trials to investigate alternative fertiliser sources and techniques for recycling essential nutrients within the soil.
In its quest to revolutionise traditional farming practises, the project is exploring the potential of cutting-edge technologies such as R-leaf and Piketa. R-leaf, a photosynthetic catalyst, has the capability to convert atmospheric NOx gases into plant-usable nitrates, potentially reducing the reliance on synthetic fertilisers. Conversely, Piketa offers real-time nutrient analysis, empowering farmers to provide crops with precisely the nutrients they require at the right time.
The Farmers Guide article underscores the imperative for a substantial transformation within the potato industry to meet ambitious net-zero emission targets. It underscores the necessity for a collective commitment from all stakeholders across the potato supply chain to identify data-driven, sustainable solutions.