You are here

Angus event presses on with ‘Storage 2020’ campaign

10 March 2014

There was a strong turn-out of regional growers for the new Angus Storage Day held at the end of February. The event followed hard on the heels of the recent, successful ‘Storage 2020’ conference and continued apace with the campaign’s aims of ensuring GB potato storage remains fit for purpose to 2020 and beyond.

Adrian Cunnington, head of Sutton Bridge Crop Storage facility (SBCSR) stated “Progress in store efficiency is happening out there but there is work to be done. Leaky buildings could be improved to save between 30% and 50% of energy costs and the difference between the best and worst refrigeration systems can be significant. I would really encourage industry to set up energy monitoring systems for their stores so any inefficiencies can be identified and rectified.”

Robert Burns, head of seed and export at AHDB Potatoes, reinforced the successes that the Safe Haven scheme is having at preventing any ingress of notifiable diseases from overseas into GB seed, which could cost industry up to £25m per year if they were ever to establish in the seed chain.

Dr Daan Kiezebrink, of Scottish Rural University College (SRUC) and Dr Glyn Harper of SBCSR examined the diseases that commonly affect potatoes in store, such as dry rot, black dot and skin spot (amongst others) and how store managers can take positive action to prevent and minimise these developing in store. “Whilst timely and thorough fungicide applications are important” advised Daan “general good husbandry - such as planting healthy tubers, early haulm destruction and lifting and avoiding damage - is key to disease control and, if good enough, can minimise the use of fungicides.”

Glyn stressed the influence of temperature, condensation and hygiene on stored tubers. “There are simple measures you can take to control hygiene and therefore reduce disease development in store” advised Glyn. “Dust carries disease – silver scurf spores, for example, are minute and can float around easily in a storage unit.” “Minimise the spread of contaminated dust. Separate your grader from your stores, and remove dust by regular vacuuming.”

With crop damage at harvest costing industry £200/hectare each year, Claire Hodge, Technical Executive of the AHDB Potatoes led discussions around minimising crop damage and bruising at harvest and grading which provided further food-for-thought. “Bruising damage is the most common cause of rejections” advised Claire. “Protecting your crop during harvesting, grading and loading into stores is vital and it’s all about teamwork – with each member of staff working ‘in sync’ with the others. Even if you have experienced personnel, the new AHDB Potatoes Damage Awareness videos will reinforce the key areas which always need attention at this crucial time.” These new Damage Awareness videos supplemented the discussions, showing growers how to protect tubers from damage during lifting, grading and loading into stores.

AHDB Potatoes suite of storage best practice information (including disease control) can be found here and hard copies are available at our events or on request.

AHDB Potatoes Damage Awareness film and information can be viewed at


How useful did you find this information?
Only logged in users can vote. Click on a star rating to show your choice, please note you can only vote once.
No votes yet