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Revolutionising Potato Storage: New Initiative Aims to Boost Grower Efficiency and Profitability

A new initiative has been launched to assist potato growers in refining their storage techniques.

The project, inspired by the Strategic Potato (SPot) Farms model previously operated by AHDB Potatoes, is a collaborative effort involving GB Potatoes, storage expert Adrian Cunnington from Potato Storage Insight, and agronomist Simon Faulkner of SDF Agriculture.

The consortium highlights a current shortage of practical research in storage and a lack of sufficient funding for research and development in this area.

The project aims to host an open day in May 2024, inviting growers and their advisors to observe the development of practices over subsequent seasons. Adrian Cunnington emphasises the importance of practical activities in helping growers enhance the performance of their storage facilities.

He notes that collaborative efforts to improve practices will not only enhance returns by monitoring costs like energy but also demonstrate the effects of various strategies on different potato varieties, including the use of available sprout suppressants.

Cunnington stresses the need for potato stores to be profitable, focusing on maintaining high tuber quality and managing costs effectively. He believes that witnessing these practices in a commercial setting will enable participants to confidently apply these techniques in their own operations.

Additionally, the learnings from the SPot stores will be disseminated in other workshops run by GB Potatoes in Yorkshire and Shropshire in 2024.

The project also includes the storage of PCN-resistant varieties in two stores in South Lincolnshire for further evaluation, following a successful first year of field demonstrations in collaboration with SDF Agriculture and Hutchinsons.


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