Jerry Knox from Cranfield University will discuss the lessons learnt from the wettest drought in history at the East of England Potato Day
to be held at Frederick Hiam, Tuddenham, Bury St Edmunds on August 30.
Dr Knox will be examining how the economics of irrigation are changing and what growers should consider in terms of improving irrigation management and learning how to cope with climate extremes.
Cambridge University Farm’s Dr Mark Stalham will also be at the event and will be discussing cultivation timing and depth, and the impact these have on soil workability. Both speakers will then conduct a practical in-field session.
Potato Council's head of communications, Dr Sharon Hall, will open the event and give an update on activities, including the Potato Council initiative to help shoppers rediscover potatoes and drive value.
The day offers ample opportunities to discuss topics such as soil moisture sensing, including information provided by sensors and results from tied ridges. There will be a tied ridger in the field for demonstration purposes.
In addition, biofumigant crops will be on display and various defoliation treatments will be demonstrated by Certis.
“We have followed last year’s successful formula of repeating the morning sessions in the afternoon,” says Potato Council technical executive Gary Collins, who is organising the event. “Manufacturers will be on-hand to discuss various seed treatments, and there will also be a range of varieties from major breeders and agents on display. Moreover, with Alternaria becoming a growing threat in the Eastern counties, there will be an important opportunity to discuss control of this disease with specialists from Agrii who will be using spore traps in the demonstration field to monitor populations.”
Catchment Sensitive Farming will be at the event to demonstrate their work with low ground pressure tyres to show the benefits in reduced soil compaction. Furthermore, growers will also have the opportunity to discuss CIPC stewardship with a representative from Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research.
“There will be ample opportunities for networking and don’t miss the range of equipment that will be on display in the field or the trade stands in the marquee,” says Mr Collins.
The East of England Potato Day is organised by Potato Council with the help of Frederick Hiam, NFU and CLA and sponsored by Branston, Fenmarc, McCain Foods and QV Foods.