Solan News Update – October 2020

October 20, 2020

Solan Re-cladding project completed!

It is satisfying to reach completion of the re-cladding project that has been staged over 4 seasons at Solan. This winter saw the final greenhouse tunnel receive its new polycarbonate skin in time for the the start of the 2020-2021 production season. A cellocim polyfilm covered the entire facility serving the production nursery well for many years, however the upgrade to polycarbonate sheeting provides more robust protection from risks brought about by extreme weather conditions, biosecurity threats and provides good UV light filtering. Greater light penetration that is more diffuse eliminates shading across the plants resulting in stronger, healthier growth and plants are demonstrating they are more resilient to stresses imposed by heat in the summer months and and cold in the autumn to winter months. The improved growing conditions also reduce the incidence of disease. We are extremely pleased with the performance of the facility since making the change to polycarbonate and given this project has been completed over 4 years has provided the opportunity to see improvements in plant growth during this time making it an easy decision to continue. We have been fortunate to work with a range of Australian suppliers and local tradespeople who understand our requirements when working on such a facility to bring this project to completion as planned, and we now look forward to the coming production season under the fully completed structure.

2020-2021 Season under production in newly completed greenhouse – east facing aspect
Four week old potato plantlet derived from tissue culture under drip irrigation

Potatoes South Australia Technical Page Update

Potatoes South Australia has recently reviewed some of the content on its web page and created a “Technical Supply Chain Tab”. The information provided on this section of the website highlights the complexity of the entire potato supply chain in Australia via a flow chart of industry participants, services available to the potato industry in the areas of Accreditation, PBR licencing, Certified Potato Production, information on the mini tuber seed process through to G5 production, the importance of cool room storage and there is a number of Varietal and Breeder links. The information is a good resource for all stakeholders involved in the potato industry providing overview of the entire supply chain with links for further information. See: – The Potatoes SA Home Page – The Potatoes SA Technical Supply Chain Tab

Solan’s Mini Tuber Production Flow Chart

We receive a common question regarding the process and timing of mini tuber production throughout a production season, when should I place my order by, how soon can I obtain mini tubers and when will these be dispatched and so to simplify and highlight this, a flow chart has been put together to demonstrate the major steps in a potato mini tuber’s life cycle from initiation to dispatch to seed growers around Australia. This will assist growers, agents and new stakeholders to the industry understand the timing of the process. For any further detail certainly contact us

Solan Mini Tuber Production Flow Chart

Senescence of plants prior to harvest

This is not an image we would normally share, predominately because the plants look stressed being yellow and collapsing rather than fresh vibrant growth however it does show the process of senescence of the potato plants which have reached maturity and are now pulling all available nutrients back and tubers reach full maturity. The plants at the completion of their 100 day cycle start this senescence process naturally, Solan does not manipulate the plants chemically to do this. Once the tuber skins have matured sufficiently and can be handled without causing damage, staff prune the remaining vegetation and the pots are inverted to release the mini tubers.