ESKLIEB: Simple assessment of the adaptability of potato varieties to climate change


Potatoes are an important staple food, but are particularly susceptible to heat, drought and flooding. The development of potato varieties with stable yields under these stress conditions is therefore of great importance. In the ESKLIEB project, we are testing the use of handheld devices in variety testing in order to assess the adaptability of potato varieties to the challenges of climate change in a simple, cost-effective and meaningful way.

Project description

In 2024 and 2025, field trials with ten different potato varieties will be carried out in Fuchsenbigl in the Marchfeld, a location in the Pannonian drylands. In contrast to the previous field trials in the EU ADAPT project, data collection in ESKLIEB will not be carried out using drones, but by using handheld devices such as PolyPen RP 410 and ASD FieldSpec® HandHeld 2, which are significantly cheaper, easier to handle and more flexible to use. The use of the handheld devices is integrated into the usual variety testing protocol. The data collected enables the calculation of indices that reflect the physiological condition of the plants. The results from the ESKLIEB project can thus be compared with the findings from ADAPT. Ten varieties are selected for the trials, three of which are low, three medium and four highly tolerant to heat and drought. Cultivation with and without regular irrigation supports the observation of the different reactions of the varieties to stress.

Benefits of the project

Varieties adapted to climate change are an important element of resilient agriculture with high productivity and a significant yield factor. The current challenges call for innovation in variety testing for the benefit of breeding companies, farmers and consumers. The aim is to offer Austrian agriculture needs-based varieties that have been specifically tested for their suitability for cultivation under increasingly challenging conditions. The rapid and efficient provision of potato varieties that are tolerant to extreme weather events, droughts and heat, as well as their demand-orientated description, contributes significantly to the promotion of sustainable agriculture.

Project details

Project title: Simple evaluation of the adaptability of potato varieties to climate change

Project acronym: ESKLIEB

Project management: AGES, DI Dr Alexandra Ribarits

Funding: BIOS Science Austria Association for the Promotion of Life Sciences

Project duration: March 2024 to May 2026

Last updated: 08.02.2024

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