From planting to storage

The 4 seasons of the potato

Spring means "sowing & planting"

More than "just" planting! All important preparations (fertilizer requirements, soil preparation,...) for planting have been made, the weather is playing along and a soil temperature of at least 8°C has been reached. The seed potatoes are allowed to grow in the soil!

Summer means "growing season"

Temperatures are rising and at Wernsing the first new potatoes from the early regions are already being delivered. 


Autumn means "harvest fever"

In the fields, the potato crops are ripe in September. Our cultivation advisors Jana and Thorsten now collect samples and determine yield, grading and starch content. Then we can decide which fields should be delivered directly to the factory and which are better stored at home. 

Winter means "storage time"

If the potatoes are harvested and are not to be delivered directly to the factory, they are stored to be processed at a later date. Potatoes are stored in box stores or in area stores. As a rule, box stores are used for table potatoes and area stores for French fries.

3 Questions for the cultivation consultant Thorsten

How did you get into this profession?
What do you do if you can only drive a tractor? Exactly, you study agriculture. And then you wait in anticipation to see what you'll get to do one day.  

What did you do professionally before your Wernsing career?
Well, I worked for Syngenta Seeds in sales and logistics. We sold corn, canola and barley. Then I worked for KWS Saat AG in the marketing department. Here I was responsible for product management for hybrid rye and sorghum. I also managed a project to merge two CRM databases in MySAP. Before I started at Wernsing, I worked for a few years in the trade at Agravis Raiffeisen, where I was involved in crop consulting and built up the biogas products division.

What fascinates you most about the potato crop?
The smell of fresh fertile soil makes my heart beat faster. It's that earthiness that comes with potato culture. That excitement when the dam is dug up in the field and the tubers emerge - preferably when the haulm is still on - that triggers pure passion for potatoes in me.


3 Questions for the Cultivation Consultant Jana

To what extent can you put your theoretical knowledge from your studies into practice?
Of course, I took the module "Potato Production" during my studies. Here I learned a lot of basics about potato cultivation and also about the processing properties of potatoes.  At Wernsing, I have often been confronted with issues related to this, but it is still a constant learning process, every year is different and there are always new peculiarities and challenges, which is also what makes it so exciting. Having the theoretical knowledge is indispensable, but what helps the most is being on the farms and understanding what is done there in detail and why. 

What kind of work in the field do you like best?
I like plowing best, it gives you peace and quiet and you can switch off your head, and the best thing is that at the end of the day you can see what you've done!
Which Wernsing product should not be missing from your fridge?
You always have to have Wernsing mayo with French fries!

Fact knowledge potato

Did you know that...?

  • you plant whole potatoes in the ground? Depending on the variety, between 8 and 30 new potatoes grow from one potato tuber, all of which are genetically identical. In other words, clones of the planted ones.
  • the potato grows underground. Above ground, it forms berries that look like small, green tomatoes. However, these berries are poisonous!
  • the potato is our youngest staple food. Until the 16th century, it was grown in Europe only as an ornamental plant, because the church believed that its underground growth was a sign of hell.
  • there are over 5000 different potato varieties worldwide? In Germany, over 300 varieties are approved, but only 20-25 are important in cultivation.
  • you can cover your daily vitamin C requirement with three large potatoes?
  • China is the world's largest potato grower?
  • there is no comparable vegetable from which you can produce such a variety of products?
  • potatoes are planted in April and harvested in October?
  • most German potatoes grow in Lower Saxony?
  • the potato is related to the tomato?
  • the Fontane potato variety is Wernsing's most popular variety for French fries?