I've noticed that, um, organic seed potatoes are quite expensive. My local farm co-op sells certified (non-organic) seed potatoes for $1-2/pound, and Trader Joes sells organic (non-seed) potatoes for $2/pound. Organic seed potatoes are something like $6+ dollars for maybe 8 tiny potatoes. Is it necessary to use organic seed potatoes? If conventional seed poatoes are grown organically, are they inferior or equal to potatoes grown organically from organic seed potatoes?
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
posted 2 years ago
The marketing meme, is that "certified potato sets" are free of various viral diseases, well, at least 95% free.... And in many jurisdictions, certified potato sets are inspected for diseases during the growing season, and/or tested for diseases before being sold. I suspect that many potato producers grow for the grocery stores using certified potato sets, so they might only be one year away from certified "virus-free" origins. They might have picked up some viruses, but if they had picked up too many, the farmers wouldn't have many potatoes to sell. I have planted a lot of grocery store potatoes, and they have grown great for me.
Supposing that we take all the toxic gick contained in a non-organic potato set, and transfer it 100% into the new tubers, without any decomposition during the growing season. That might create around a hundred fold dilution of the toxicity. A more realistic scenario, is that the toxic gick gets spread across the whole plant, including the non-harvested stems and roots, and it gets diluted into the soil as the seed tuber rots away, and the toxic gick gets decomposed by the plant, microbes, sunlight, and weather. So the actual dilution might be closer to 10,000 times. I don't know what your tolerance for toxic gick is, but that's good enough for me.