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    Successful East of England Potato Day 2013

    Be CIPC Compliant

    More than 140 potato growers, advisors and agronomists met at Frederick Hiam Ltd, Tuddenham, Suffolk at the end of August, 2013, for Potato Council’s East of England Potato Day.

    Sponsored by Albert Bartlett, Branston, Fenmarc, Greenvale AP, McCain Foods and QV Foods the day comprised short technical presentations, followed by machinery and plot demonstrations.

    Opening the event, Potato Council’s director Rob Clayton, urged attendees to talk to board members as part of Potato Council’s ‘Direction Through Dialogue’ process (

    “Direction Through Dialogue is the good, the bad, and the ugly exercise. We’ve already had feedback covering 45% of the GB area and 70% of the volume traded. This gives a real sense of what industry wants and will result in sharpened, improved and reshaped services. But there’s still a month to go and now’s the opportunity to put forward your views,” explained Rob.

    Kicking off the presentation sessions, Potato Council’s, Adrian Briddon from Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research, described lessons learnt from CIPC exceedances and how to achieve best practice for the 2013 season.

    “CIPC labels are changing, we know that the maximum total dose rate per season, will be reduced to 36g/tonne,” explained Adrian.

    Adrian Briddon at East of England Potato Day 2013

    The new, ‘Be CIPC Compliant’ campaign ( promotes best practice and raises awareness of the issues surrounding CIPC use. The aim is to reduce the levels of residue found on crops, to safeguard its availability for future use.

    “It’s vital to get CIPC on early,” urged Adrian. “It needs to be within three weeks of harvest. This gives the best chance of controlling sprout growth with the least amount of CIPC. For cold stores with a holding temperature of 5C° or below, only one application should be used for the whole season.”

    “In future, for stores that are using CIPC, positive ventilation is recommended, added Adrian. “Most box stores are of the overhead throw type, and without corrective action there can be an increased risk of higher residue levels occurring. CIPC should be applied via a plenum to prevent fog rising up into the store headspace. This reduces the risk of a Maximum Residue Level exceedance. “

    Following on, CUF’s David Firman, discussed the learnings and successes from Potato Council-funded Grower Collaboration, depth of destoning, nitrogen and seed rate trials, which have been conducted by growers round the country.

    “The Grower Collaboration project started in 2007 and takes research from small replicated trial plots to larger farm-scale blocks, to give growers the confidence to adopt the latest findings in their own set-up,” explained David.

    “The grower in conjunction with their agronomist is responsible for providing cropping information and establishing comparisons, whilst CUF provides an improved agronomy program based on the information supplied. The data can be used to assess the carbon footprint of crops and evaluate the benefit of nitrogen reduction in this area.”

    For the first time we’ve looked at destoning depth comparisons this year, with the aim of achieving increased workrates, lower energy inputs and reduced damage to soils when cultivated under marginal soil moisture conditions.”

    Potato Council board member and North Norfolk grower, Tony Bambridge, said, “The day has been a good mix of formal technical papers, combined with practical field demonstrations and seminars. There are key points that I will take back to my farm business. Firstly, it’s crucial we take notice of CIPC label changes and the new best practice recommendations.

    “Secondly, David Firman’s presentation on the Potato Council-funded, Grower Collaborations project, clearly demonstrated the importance of having independent and rigorous trials that provide statistical robustness, which we as an industry can rely on. Going forward, I’m going to stop listening to the sales pitches from non-replicated trials work. “

    During the fields sessions attendees visited machinery displays by George Moate, Grimme and Standen and saw a working demonstration of a new vision system, which is part of a LINK project co-funded by Potato Council. The machine can control potato volunteers in carrots, onions and leek crops.

    Trial plots with the leading varieties and new developments available from Branston, Caithness, Cygnet, Fenmarc, Greenvale, Grampian Growers, IPM and KWS were a popular aspect of the day.

    East of England Potato Day 2013

    Mark Walmsley, from McCain Foods, said “Potato Council has put on a valuable day and it’s been good to keep abreast of everything that is happening in the industry. CIPC is a crucial part of our business, we’ve got to keep a pace of that one. It was useful to walk the trial plots, look at the new varieties and catch up with the people in the trade and generally have a good day.”

    During the field site session David Hudson Potato Services Ltd demonstrated fertiliser application methods and timing;Barworth Agriculture and Branston showed their Biofumigation and trap crop trials;Syngenta demonstrated different defoliation and seed treatments;and Bayer, Frontier and Hutchinsons evaluated in-furrow treatments.

    Potato Council would like to thank Frederick Hiam Ltd for hosting the event. Nick Gilford, commercial director said “It was great to see so many of our customers and suppliers, and also to catch up on the latest technical developments. We really enjoyed hosting the event and our business is committed to doing so again in September 2014.”