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Search for SPot Farm North to start in Harrogate

20 November 2017

Innovative potato growers from northern England who are willing to challenge convention are being urged to get involved in AHDB’s latest Strategic Potato (SPot) Farm.

AHDB will be on the hunt for the first SPot Farm host in the North at BP2017 in Harrogate this week (22 – 23 November).

The two-day event, held at the Great Yorkshire Showground, is expected to attract over 6,000 visitors from across the potato industry and growers are invited to drop by the AHDB stand 137 to discuss the new project.

Graham Bannister, AHDB Potatoes Knowledge Exchange Manager for North East England, said: “We have four strategic potato farms currently that form part of the 60 plus farms in our Farm Excellence platform. As a Yorkshireman, I am excited to bring this successful programme to Northern England for the first time.

“We’re seeking an innovative grower to work with us to challenge conventional working practices and, using proven research, demonstrate how potato growers can benefit from applying beneficial adjustments to commercial growing systems.”

AHDB’s Strategic Farms aim to bring farmers together in their regions to discuss ways to drive real change in their businesses.

Mr Bannister continued: “Our role is to provide a platform for discussion and an evidence base for the work trialled on farm.

“The project will be rewarding for all involved, not least for the host farmer. Our aim is to uncover the research and ensure growers in the region can use the results confidently from SPot North to make real and beneficial changes to their businesses.”

Challenging cultivations and soil management practices, crop nutrition theory, varieties and seed rates, the use of precision, in-field greening, burn-off, harvest and loading techniques are all hot topics that could be included.

The host farmer and the steering group will play a key role in establishing the focus of the project, so the North’s forward-thinking potato growers are encouraged to join the project and benefit from the discoveries made.

To get involved, visit Graham Bannister on the AHDB stand at the event or contact or 07580 704673.

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Notes to editors

AHDB is a statutory levy board, funded by farmers, growers and others in the supply chain. Our purpose is to inspire our farmers, growers and industry to succeed in a rapidly changing world. We equip the industry with easy to use, practical know-how which they can apply straight away to make better decisions and improve their performance. Established in 2008 and classified as a Non-Departmental Public Body, it supports the following industries: meat and livestock (cattle, sheep and pigs) in England; horticulture, milk and potatoes in Great Britain; and cereals and oilseeds in the UK. AHDB’s remit covers 72 per cent of total UK agricultural output. Further information on AHDB can be found at


For further information contact Jimmy Phillips Senior Marcomms Manager (AHDB Potatoes) on 024 7647 8933 or



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