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Don’t miss West Midlands Potato Day

28 July 2011

Food security and the sustainability of the potato industry are top of the agenda at this year’s West Midlands Potato Day to be held at Woodlands Farm, Weston-under-Lizzard, Staffordshire on June 8.

The day will follow the popular formula of a mixture of talks, an open forum and field workshops.

Keynote speakers will be AHDB chief scientist Professor Ian Crute and AHDB Potatoes sector director Dr Rob Clayton, who will be looking at challenges resulting from climate change and sustainability of the potato industry respectively.

Growers looking to maximise efficiency will not want to miss the practical field workshops given by industry experts such as agronomists Denis Buckley, Andrew Wade, Luke Hardy, water consultant Peter White and ADAS’s Martyn Silgram.

“The Water Framework Directive has resulted in many growers already having to adopt new ways of working,” explains AHDB Potatoes technical executive Chris Steele. “We are looking at ways to help them maximise efficiency, including irrigation scheduling and tools and I would urge growers to check out the growers’ advice sheet on the impact of the WFD on potato production.”

Furthermore, minimising phosphate losses is becoming increasingly important, particularly as fertiliser costs have seen year-on-year increases of around 30 per cent. Growers will have the opportunity to quiz Martyn Silgram on the work done to date on soil management strategies, their application and effectiveness.

The Defra-funded MOPS2 project led by ADAS and run in conjunction with the AHDB Potatoes, has been comparing alternative management strategies in potato rotation to minimise the risk of surface runoff and diffuse pollution of soil (sediment), phosphorus, nitrogen and surface-applied materials (e.g. herbicides) to water courses. 

Additionally, there will be opportunities for networking and viewing the latest machinery.

For further information please visit or email Miya Kotecha on

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