A one-day technical potato industry event scheduled for next week will see growers, seed breeders, plant health officials, agronomists and scientists come together to discuss the key challenges and opportunities in the sector.
Potatoes in Practice 2017 (PiP) – held on Thursday August 10, at the James Hutton Institute’s Balruddery Farm near Dundee – is described as the largest event of its kind in the UK.
Attendees can review crop varieties and the results of new crop treatments, attend live machinery demonstrations and discover the latest research on current issues.
Meanwhile topics like market intelligence, apps and diagnostic tools, late blight and agronomy, will feature as part of the day’s seminar programme.
Head of strategic insight at Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB), David Swales, is due to give a presentation into the challenges posed by Brexit as well as a consumer trends update.
“There is uncertainty over what trade agreements may be in place in our traditional seed markets, which are predominantly outside the EU, as we currently operate through EU trade agreements with these countries,” says Swales.
“Changes to trade regulations could present both challenges and opportunities for British potato growers.
“Meanwhile, the possibility of tariffs and the weakness of the pound, may provide opportunities for growers to access the frozen processed potatoes market by replacing current imports with British grown product.”
Other themes and demonstrations include breeding programmes, research into climate-proofing potato crops, waste reduction and the Commonwealth Potato Collection and its recent seed deposit in the Crop Trust’s Global Seed Vault in Svalbard.
“PiP is a vital event for our industry. It’s the only time we see the breeders, seed houses, growers, researchers and manufacturers together for one event,” adds
Rob Clayton, Sector Strategy Director for Potatoes at AHDB.
“The market we are operating in is changing rapidly and PiP gives us a chance to work together as an industry to gear-up for the challenges and opportunities ahead.”
“Attention to detail in order to produce a competitive offering is the best way for British growers to take advantage of new prospects. PiP, as Great Britain’s largest potato field day, provides a platform for collaboration with key-players who can help businesses make positive change.”
PiP is organised and hosted by the James Hutton Institute in partnership with AHDB Potatoes and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).