Irrigation Technology Applied Overhead to Improve Economic Value of Potato Production

Potatoes are one of the most in-demand food products in many parts of the world, and for good reason. They’re easy to grow in many locations and provide an inexpensive and filling addition to many meals. To keep costs low, it is important for farmers to improve the economic value of their potato crops via several unique means. AquiMax® irrigation technology has proven invaluable to the potato industry.

Growing the Best, Most Uniform Potatoes

While irrigation plays a vital role in the health of many different crops, this is especially true of potatoes. After all, proper moisture helps to ensure potato health and uniformity, which is vital to many food product manufacturers. Without this quality, the economic value of a farmer’s potato crop can fall drastically, leading to less income. Recent studies and collaborations with potato growers found that AquiMax® can vastly improve potato production by allowing these crops to thrive – even through stress periods – by providing consistent soil moisture throughout the growth period.

Factors that Influence Potato Market Value

Farmers typically sell potatoes that are destined to be processed or sold whole to consumers. In either case, quality standards apply. Failing to meet those quality standards with a potato crop can result in a much lower economic value, and it can actually take money out of the farmers’ pockets. Potatoes that are of inconsistent size and poor health are not marketable, which means the farmer loses money for every potato he or she cannot sell. AquiMax® is designed in such a way that it increases overall moisture distribution and amount in the soil, thereby improving the soil’s health and allowing for better, higher-quality potatoes.

Small Scale Trials

AquiMax® worked with a potato farmer to compare treated versus untreated crops in a small-scale study conducted in Aquecia, Idaho through 2015 and 2016. The results of these trials were very clear and showed that AquiMax® can improve the quality, size, and overall health of potato crops. The two figures below compared untreated sections of a potato farm against sections treated with AquiMax® irrigation technology at a rate of one gallon per acre for a total of two applications.

  • Increases in Potato Yield – Potato yield increased acre-for-acre in the plots treated with AquiMax®. In the untreated plots, the farmer yielded about 32.3 tons of potatoes per acre. In the treated plots, the farmer yielded 35.3 tons per acre – two tons more potatoes per acre.
  • Increases in Economic Value – The overall value of the potato crops increased as well, namely because there were more potatoes per acre, but also because fewer potatoes were considered unmarketable. Processed potatoes treated with AquiMax were worth $4979 an acre, but the processed untreated potatoes brought in only $4679 – $300 an acre less. Fresh treated potatoes brought farmers $6024 per acre, and fresh untreated potatoes sold for roughly $5397 an acre, which is an even bigger difference in value.

With this study, it is evident that applying AquiMax to potato plots can improve the market value of those plants significantly. It does this by boosting the number of potatoes that grow in each plot and reducing the number of unmarketable potatoes at the same time. This allows farmers to earn several hundred dollars more per acre, making AquiMax® a sensible investment.