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TUBER TALK: PDC the centre of attention

6 February 2018

​By Amber Cottingham, MI Analyst

"Feedback following the launch of our new Potato Data Centre (PDC) at BP2017 in Harrogate (22–23 November) has been encouraging"

Once again, we saw great attendance in Harrogate at BP2017, which provided an excellent opportunity for relationships to be strengthened and new networks across the industry to be built.

PDC was launched at the event – it allows growers and those in the supply chain to examine data on price, variety, planted area, market sector and yield.

The data comes from AHDB’s annual levy return forms, as well as price information from weekly calls to growers and purchasers made by members of a recently expanded team. Access to information captured on levy forms puts AHDB in an exclusive position to provide this free service.

Michael Welham, of Strutt and Parker Farms Ltd, said: “As a business, we have been using AHDB’s market and pricing information for a number of years. Its access to industry data and independent positioning makes the information it provides uniquely impartial.”

Users will be able to pull in data on the variety and market sector relevant to them, and then compare that data to that of previous seasons to identify trends. This is a real game-changer for growers and the supply chain.

Compare seasonal trends

It will not have escaped anyone’s attention that the 2017 growing season produced a bumper crop. The increased planted area was coupled with one of the highest average yields on record (49.3t/ha).

Unlike planted area, yield is impossible to predict as potatoes are a sunshine crop, so the growing conditions are weather-reliant. Conducive growing conditions lead to a large crop and an oversupply to the free-buy market, with the current ex-farm price more than £100/t under the same point last year.

PDC allows growers to compare what has happened this year to similar past years. Trends are often visible, which can help users predict what may happen in future. Our analysts are also on hand to discuss the market and help people to use PDC.

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This article is taken from AHDB Potatoes’ Tuber Talk newsletter, to download the full edition, please click here


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