Quantifying effects of potato seed multiplication systems and storage practices on ware production


Variation in the performance of seed is a regular cause of concern amongst growers and contributes to the failure of ware crops to meet market requirements and economic potential as well as resulting in wastage.  Deterioration in quality during storage through both physiological and pathological changes differs markedly between ware crops but these differences are often unpredictable and a better understanding of the effects of agronomy and environmental conditions would improve storage efficiency and reduce wastage. AHDB-funded research projects to develop seed rates for potato varieties have shown that the number of stems produced by similar sized seed can vary by at least a factor of two between stocks and this variation is not all predictably explicable by differences in seed age.


A literature review (2021) on chitting seed tubers was produced as a supplement to the project. It covers the physiological age of seed tubers, factors influencing dormancy and the effect of light and temperature on tuber seed development. Chitting systems with improved mechanisation potential and decreased costs are discussed.

Project code:
01 September 2016 - 31 March 2022
Project leader:
David Firman


11140032 Chitting Review 2021

About this project

To quantify the cumulative effects of different storage and handling practices on seed health and performance through seed multiplication and determine the consequences for ware production.  To examine the effects of aspects of agronomic and environmental factors on storage of ware crops.
a) Document field production and storage conditions for a range of seed stocks through multiplication.
b) Document performance of contrasting seed stocks from commercial storage regimes in commercial seed crops, ware crops and experiments.
c) Determine effects of a range of controlled seed storage regimes on seed health and performance in experiments.
d) Relate measurements of crop performance to seed measurements and aspects of agronomy and storage.
e) Relate quality of crops during storage to aspects of agronomy and environmental conditions.