BASF Plant Science will again conduct field trials this year with genetically optimized potatoes which are undergoing the EU approval process. The field trials will be conducted in the state of Sachsen-Anhalt in Germany, in the provinces of Skåne and Halland in Sweden, as well as in the provinces of Gelderland, Drenthe and Noord-Brabant in the Netherlands. In total, genetically optimized potatoes will be planted on less than one hectare.
In addition to the starch potato Modena, also the late blight resistant variety Fortuna will be planted.
As potatoes can only be stored for short periods, they are usually multiplied every year. Besides multiplication, the aim of the current cultivation is to test and document the performance of the potato varieties under different environmental conditions as well as the resistance characteristics of the Fortuna potato.
BASF is convinced that plant biotechnology is a technology of the future. But in the mid-term, it does not see any opportunities for the commercial cultivation of genetically modified plants in Europe. In January they announced that they would concentrate their activities on the main markets in North and South America as well as the growing markets in Asia and halt the development and commercialization of all products that are targeted solely for cultivation in the European markets. However, to keep strategic options open, all ongoing approval applications and variety protection processes for the Amadea, Modena and Fortuna potato projects are being continued.
- BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany