Scottish seed potato grower needed to host industry initiative

The host farm will use plots in their potato fields to run demonstrations (Photo: Kerr Howatson, Bruce Farms)
The host farm will use plots in their potato fields to run demonstrations (Photo: Kerr Howatson, Bruce Farms)

The hunt has commenced to find the next farmer host for Scotland's strategic potato (SPot) farm initiative.

The current project – based at Bruce Farms in Perthshire – will come to a close in December.

The team behind SPot, spearheaded by AHDB, are keen to have a new farm in place by the autumn of this year.

Having worked closely with a prime Scottish ware producer they are now looking for a high grade seed farm.

British seed potato production is critical to the whole industry as the health of the national crop is founded on the health and quality of the seed potatoes produced.

AHDB's Claire Hodge explains: “We’re keen to work with a seed producer to better understand that crop, in terms of plant health, cost of production, and of course the export market which makes up a significant proportion of the sector.”



If selected the host farm will use plots in their potato fields to run demonstrations which they will then discuss with other local growers at a series of open days.

The possibilities for demonstration topics are varied and could include areas such as cultivations and soil management practices, crop nutrition, varieties, seed generations and the use of precision.

Current SPot Scotland host, Kerr Howatson, who runs Bruce Farms, said the trials gave him 'meaningful results' at the end.

“Doing trials on your own land, with your own machinery and your own management is really useful, and you make lots of handy contacts.

“The key for us was having a hands on project team which worked well together to make sure that we focused on trials which would be of use to the wider industry,” he said.

Seed growers interested in finding out more about hosting the next strategic potato farm in Scotland should contact Chris Leslie at chris.leslie@ahdb.org.uk.