NIOBIUM LABS M.E.P.E
Farminguk
03 May 2016 | Online since 2003
OvoConcept


26 June 2014 15:38:10|News

Shropshire potato producers host leading technical event


The West Midlands Potato Day attracted a good crowd of industry visitors on 19 June when potato grower Jonathan Bubb of J.M. Bubb & Sons hosted Potato Council’s technical field day at Lynn South Farm, Newport, Shropshire, where they grow around 400 acres of potatoes.
Potato Council’s Director, Dr Rob Clayton opened the event at the farm, urging industry to speak with ‘one voice’, saying, “The marketplace is crowded with competitive products so our industry needs to be loud and proud, and join together to bang the drum with consistent messages about potatoes. Potato Council will continue to provide the evidence base and the tools industry needs to ensure that potatoes are seen as a good food by shoppers, politicians and the media alike, remaining a staple on British plates.”
This message was followed up by Kate Cox, Potato Council’s marketing manager who talked about the latest market trends and consumer research around potato buying. “Consistent messages and signposting are key” said Kate. “We as an industry need to help consumers understand more about the wealth of potato varieties available – and the key types – so they can be easily identified, purchased and used to make a huge choice of quick, nutritious and good value meals, to fit in with today’s time-poor lifestyles and increasingly fragmented mealtime patterns. That’s where Potato Council’s ‘Fluffy-Smooth-Salad’ signposting comes in which helps consumers choose the right potato for the meals they want.”
The morning’s sessions continued with a hard look at costs of production for potato growers, with Nick Blake of Andersons discussing efficiencies, trends, the correlation between prices and production and the key messages growers could take away from the day. “Potato crops are generally between 5-7 times more expensive to produce than wheat crops,” said Nick. “Marginal gains are the only way to improve efficiencies of production – there is no ‘golden ticket’. So you need to understand your production costs to identify where those marginal gains can be made.”
John Amos, a Herefordshire land agent with nearly 40 years’ experience handling annual potato agreements, land tenders and leases, rounded off the morning with a fascinating look at risk and reward and the competition for land. Ranging from ecological focus areas (EFA’s) to cross-compliance and entitlements, John covered the wide range of land planning issues that growers have to consider when either letting or renting land for potato growing, stressing that ultimately, land contracts needed to be fair for both parties, otherwise they just won’t work.
The afternoon saw visitors choose from in-field sessions looking at soil sampling for PCN and cultivation techniques to aid strong rooting systems. Ivan Grove, of Harper Adams advised the best soil sampling regime, splitting down the sampling areas to obtain the true picture of PCN populations in the field. He added that, whilst increased costs would be a factor with more thorough sampling, these were negligible compared to crop losses incurred from increasing and undetected levels of PCN in your land. PCN multiplication can be 40-fold, so nematicide is needed even on low - or no - population areas.
John Sarup of Spud Agronomy looked at the effect on soil profiles and rooting brought about by varying cultivation methods, and talked about how we are generally guilty of overworking soils and that as each season is different, so adjustments are needed to your cultivation plans every year.
Back in the new farm sheds, further presentations were on offer, one with Andrew Kneeshaw from the Farm Energy Centre looking at the range of renewable energy options that can be used to power the potato store and save money.
The other saw Adrian Briddon, technologist from Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research, giving an update on forthcoming CIPC application limits for ware and processing crops. Adrian advised further that if you use CIPC, you must check and adhere to the statutory conditions of use and, now more than ever, it is critical users adopt best practice. The easiest way of doing this is to use an NAAC applicator. The Be CIPC Compliant website, from the Potato Industry CIPC Stewardship Group has all the information needed to help growers and store managers remain within the regulatory requirements and keep their stored crops in optimum conditions.

Download





0 Comment


Name

Please enter your name


Email

Comment

Please enter your comment


Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.


Comments

No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

World News

United Kingdom | 29 April 2016
Banned pesticides 'not equally harmful' to bees

The largest field study so far in to the group of pesticides called "neonicotinoids" has concluded that each acts differently on the brains of the bees. One of the chemicals widely considered as be...


Canada | 29 April 2016
Competing ethical meat standards leave Alberta beef farmers in crossfire

Colleen Biggs and her husband, Dylan, own an award-winning livestock operation in Alberta. TK Ranch produces beef without antibiotics, drugs, added hormones, animal by-products and chemical insecticid...


India | 29 April 2016
Govt plans to use quarter of farmland for horticulture

In a bid to gain from Haryana's close proximity to the national capital, the state government has planned to use major chunks of agriculture land for horticulture in the state. The state governmen...


Austria | 29 April 2016
Negative effect on Austrian agriculture

The trade agreement between the US and Europe, TTIP, will have negative effects on employment and the biggest losses in jobs will be in the agricultural and food producing sectors. This is one of ...


New Zealand | 29 April 2016
Suicide concerns rise for farmers as dairy downturn takes its toll

A rise in substance abuse and domestic violence in Golden Bay's rural community raises concerns over suicide as the dairy downturn continues to bite, mental health workers say. Community Mental Hea...



Trending Now

Viewed
Discussed

Farms and Land for sale


Holiday Rentals search



Top stories you may have missed
Username
Password