Potato industry event to be held online

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The bi-annual Seed Potato Industry event will for the first time be held online and delivered via the Hopin digital platform on Tuesday 24th November. This will take place between the hours of 9.30am and 5pm.

The conference’s keynote speaker, Brendon Rockey, grows ware and seed potatoes for the North American market at his farm in Center Colorado. He does this at 7,600ft, with less than 6 inches of rain a year. He has met this challenge by developing his own ‘Biotic Potatoes’ system and carefully managing carbon exchange using a diverse range of cover crops and grazing livestock on them. Brendon will deliver a series of presentations at the conference where he will guide us through the changes he has made and what he’s learned along the way.

Speaking ahead of the conference, AHDB Potatoes Strategy Director Rob Clayton said: “Moving this year’s event online has allowed us to secure an exciting line-up of international speakers that we hope will appeal to as wide an audience from across the potato industry as possible; and not just seed growers.

“Many of the challenges the potato industry is currently faced with are common to all of us. The global pandemic, changing market conditions, changes in consumer behaviour, Brexit, removal of actives and aphid/virus diseases to name but a few. Working together across the supply chain and involving everyone will be the most effective way to tackle them.”

The day is broken down to morning and afternoon sessions.  The morning sessions will focus on external markets, business and consumers and feature presentations from AHDB Senior Analyst (Potatoes), Alice Bailey and AHDB Consumer Insight Analyst Grace Randall. They will be supported by Sandy McGowan from Cygnet PEP who will offer a view on Brexit and its impact on the potato industry; Karri-Anne Lamb from Whickham farms, Queensland, Australia who will provide a world view of the potato market and Claire Hodge, Nuffield scholar and Senior Arable Knowledge Exchange Manager (Scotland) at AHDB who will discuss Connectivity in the Supply Chain. These presentations will be followed by a live question and answer session.

Over lunch there will be a presentation on potato marketing from Nicola Dodd, Interim Senior Marketing Manager at AHDB celebrating all things potato related. The Potato Industry Awards, now in their 23rd year will be held at 12:20 with AHDB Chair Alison Levett presenting the Potato Industry Award and the inaugural Above and Beyond Award.

The highlight of the afternoon session is our technical outlook for potatoes demonstration led by keynote Speaker Brendon Rockey, who farms at high altitude in Colorado. He will deliver a series of video presentations on the topics of Probiotic and Antibiotic Thinking, Integrated Pest Management: Managing for aphids in a probiotic system, Mechanical Weed Management in a Probiotic System and Cover Crop Grazing: Optimizing the Carbon Cycle in Potato Production. Brendon’s presentations will be followed by a live Question and Answer Session with him.

The Potato Industry Event is a biennial event which focuses on the issues that matter for those involved in seed potatoes and the supply chain, from research to marketing. Register to attend the event at www.ahdb.org.uk/PotatoConf.

There is an opportunity for industry partners to exhibit at the event. For more information on this free opportunity please contact Claire Hodge by emailing Claire.hodge@ahdb.org.uk


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