First full year of potato research results to be revealed

Trial results from AHDB’s Strategic Potato Farm Scotland will be revealed at a Results Day held at the Red House Hotel in Coupar Angus on 8 March.

Having initially started in 2016 with cultivation trials, the work with Bruce Farms was significantly expanded last season to cover nutrition, cover crops, seed spacing and handling and further work on cultivations.

Claire Hodge, Knowledge Exchange Manager for AHDB Potatoes, explains: “We have some really exciting results to discuss at the event now we have harvested the potatoes from each trial and taken them through to pack out.

“The pack out data we get from Bartlett’s is hugely valuable as it’s only by following the potatoes through the full cycle that we can assess the impact the trials have had on marketable yield and demonstrate where making changes can result in a significant difference to the bottom line.”

AHDB Potatoes’ SPot Farms are used to drive research in to practice through the demonstration of cutting-edge techniques – appropriate to the region and market sector – in a commercial-scale growing environment. SPot Farm Scotland will run for three years and is funded by the Scottish Government.

At the event attendees will learn more about this year’s trials from experts involved in setting them up, such as Alistair Melrose on seed handling and Mark Stahlam from NIAB CUF on seed spacing and nutrition. Claire Hodge will cover the cultivation results while Alan Johnston from Kings will discuss cover crops.

Now the project is moving into its second full year the team will finish the day by sketching out their plans for 2018, however nothing is set in stone, as Kerr Howatson, Bruce Farms Manager for Potatoes, explains:

“We’ve learned a lot from the last two seasons and we have some outline plans for the coming year, but we’re really open to ideas. The project has a lot of support and I hope those supporters will take the opportunity to share their thoughts on what we should be doing next.”

SPot Farms are part of AHDB’s wider Farm Excellence Platform, which inspires industry to improve performance and succeed through farmer-to-farmer knowledge exchange. They support AHDB’s strategic priority of accelerating innovation and productivity growth through coordinated research and knowledge exchange.

Those interested in attending the Results Day on 8 March can find further information and details on how register by visiting the following link:  https://potatoes.ahdb.org.uk/events.

 

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About The Author

Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice.