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SPot farm East Open Day

AHDB Potatoes event

Event date :
Event date: 
Thursday, 6 July, 2017 - 08:30 to 16:30
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Location :
SPot East: Avenue Farm, Icklingham, IP28 6PZ

The SPot East Open Day is a great opportunity to see the latest research on potato growing methods in practice. AHDB Knowledge Exchange Managers will be on hand to facilitate discussions between academic experts, agronomists and growers. Commercial plots have been planted to demonstrate the latest thinking in research – the Open Day will host talks from the experts on these plots, as well as trade and machinery stands.   This is a FREE event – refreshments and a hot lunch will be provided.  BASIS and NRoSO point available.

There are two sessions available on 6th July:

-       Morning Session: 8:30am to 13:30pm - This session is now fully booked.

-       Afternoon Session: 12:30pm to 16:30pm - limited space available



Experts leading the discussions

  • Dr Mark Stalham, Senior Research Scientist, NIAB CUF
  • Dr Marc Allison, Senior Research Scientist, NIAB CUF
  • Dr Philip Burgess, Head of Knowledge Exchange, AHDB Potatoes
  • Graham Tomalin, Agronomist, Vegetable Consultancy Services
  • Dr Joanna Niziolomski, Sustainable Soil Management Specialist, Cranfield Soil and Agrifood Institute

Discussion facilitated by:

  • Teresa Meadows, AHDB Knowledge Exchange Manager
  • Anne Stone, AHDB Knowledge Exchange Manager
  • Dr Mike Storey, AHDB Head of Resource Management

Topics covered

1.    Potato common scab control (Dr Mark Stalham).

Using the latest knowledge of irrigation requirements to control common scab with minimal resources. Discussion of the water requirements, timing and varietal resistance. Soil type interactions.

2.    Nitrogen use efficiency under differing irrigation regimes (Dr Marc Allison)

Discussion of the in-season nitrogen requirements as observed in an extensive demonstration including different application timings, methods and rates. Use of the latest technology to track nitrogen movements within the soil profile. Discussion of the appropriate rates of N use in a variety of situations.

3.    Herbicide demonstration (Graham Tomalin)

Large scale demonstration of different residual herbicide programmes as applicable to ca. 20 different potato varieties. Weed identification in the field with assessment of programme efficacy. Investigation and recommendations following the loss of product availability and effective substitution.

4.    Manipulation of potato tuber numbers (Dr Philip Burgess)

Producing the correct crop specification, including tuber size is essential for grower profitability. This demonstration looks at the methods available to manipulate tuber number production in processing and salad crops.

5.    Reducing soil run-off and associated pollution (Dr Joanna Niziolomski)

Demonstration of different proven techniques for reducing soil run-off in a potato field. Demonstration includes 3 different mitigation techniques and assessment of their efficacy under two different irrigation regimes. Discussion of the risk factors leading to run-off events and the appropriate mitigation methods.

6.    Additional informal training opportunities

  • Informal sessions will be conducted on the potential use of drones in assessment of potato crops
  • Availability of water
  • Trade stands and exhibits (machinery, storage, distributers, associated organisations)


  • From Newmarket- take 4th exit off Barton Mills roundabout onto Mildenhall Rd/A1101. Turn left onto the B1112, destination will be 0.9mile on left.
  • From Thetford- At Barton Mills roundabout take 1st exit onto Mildenhall Rd/A1101. Turn left onto the B1112, destination will be 0.9mile on left.
  • WARNING - ignore satnav if asking you to turn off before Barton Mills roundabout (there is no longer a left turn due to A11 duelling).

Elveden Estate returns again to host the ‘SPot Farm East’ programme for 2017.

The 22,500 acre estate is located in the East Anglian ‘Brecks’, a name originating from the medieval term for ‘broken land’, referring to the nutrient deficient sandy soils.  Elveden Estate specialises in vegetable production, especially potatoes, onions, carrots and parsnips. 

SPot Farm East puts potato research into practice by demonstrating cutting-edge techniques - appropriate to the region and market sector - in a commercial-scale growing environment. The Greater Cambridge / Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership funding is helping East Anglian potato farmers more effectively manage the key problems facing the industry.