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Your ‘technical toolbox’ for 2015

23 April 2015

As the 2015 season progresses, it’s time to arm yourself with the latest R&D news, technical information and tips from our 2015 events, and meet the new technical experts on our knowledge transfer team.

 
Valued by levy payers, our technical events get consistently good feedback from our industry.  The feedback we receive is invaluable to help us make improvements, and our technical events planned for this year take on some exciting new formats.
 
Introducing a new approach, on 24 June we present our first On-Farm Storage Day, at Heal Farms, Shawbury, Shropshire.  This event will feature short, sharp, commercially-relevant presentations on key storage topics, all presented in and incorporating a commercial storage environment.  Practically-focused demonstrations and workshops will illustrate research results and the adoption of best practice, focused on making a financial difference in businesses where storage is an important part of the potato enterprise.  Major storage suppliers who have been collaborating with Sutton Bridge research projects will be present at the event, with lots of networking opportunities available.
 
East Midlands Potato Day on 30 June at QV Foods in Lincolnshire, is the regular annual event and not to be missed.  This year’s speaker programme will feature the NFU and a representative from the packing sector, as well as practical field sessions looking at whole-farm rotation planning, PCN management, cultivations, soil management and irrigation. Information you need to run your business profitably!
 
The all-new Strategic Potato (SPot) Farm Open Day, is planned for 23 July at James Daw’s farm in Staffordshire and will examine on-going issues from a Best Practice perspective.  The ambitious programme brings together much of the valuable research into one place.  Showing how YOU can implement the latest techniques on YOUR FARM.  We will be examining soil management, precision techniques, greening, crop variability, fertiliser and irrigation scheduling, varieties, yield mapping and water run-off, all on a commercial 20 ha site.  Follow the blog to see the latest that’s happening at the farm.
 
GB’s leading field-based potato event Potatoes in Practice is scheduled for 13 August at the James Hutton Institute’s Balruddery Farm, near Dundee.  Soils and irrigation will feature strongly during the packed programme of seminars, field trials, live machinery demos, science and trade exhibitors and - most importantly - the visitors themselves.  See the experts – find out the latest developments – improve your business.
 
GB seed quality, related science and plant health expertise will be showcased at the annual Potato Europe in September, this year to be held in Belgium.  GB seed exports continue to grow and this major international event enables our seed sector to enhance the excellent reputation of GB seed that has been built up over decades.
 
BP2015 is taking place on 12 and 13 November (www.bp2015.co.uk). This is the biennial must-attend event of 2015.  If it's potato related, it’s at Harrogate!  This year were in a bigger, better venue - the Harrogate International Centre.  We’re even bringing the machinery indoors!  But don’t worry, there’s plenty of space - seed suppliers, breeders, pesticides, manufacturers, agronomy, machinery manufacturers, irrigation equipment, precision agriculture, packaging, research institutions, packers, merchants, processors and storage companies - they'll all be there.  You can’t afford to miss it!
 
New expertise
 
AHDB Potatoes has appointed two executives, bringing new technical expertise to our knowledge transfer team around GB.
 
Jenny Bashford joins the team having previously worked for the NFYFC, Environment Agency and NFU.  Jenny’s specialisms include soil, water, agricultural policy and legislation.  “I’m delighted to be taking on this new role,” enthuses Jenny.  “The environmental and legislative arena is ever changing.  Helping our levy-payers have a clear and up to date understanding is crucial.”
 
Hannah GoodwinCovering the East of England, Jenny is now in place alongside Hannah Goodwin, who is covering the West and South of England and Wales.  Hannah joins the team from AHDB Market Intelligence where she spent two and a half years as a senior market analyst.  “Being part of the team responsible for delivering practical advice and the latest research insights, knowledge and tech, direct to levy payers, is a great opportunity which can really help drive business efficiency and competitiveness,” says Hannah.
 
The new staff join established technical executive colleagues, Phil Bradshaw and Claire Hodge.
 
There’s a lot to look out for over coming months on the technical side of things.  AHDB Potatoes technical team will be out and about and will be happy to hear from you and hope to see you at one of our events this year.
 
Don’t miss out on the latest technical ‘know-how’ – our events and campaigns are developed to offer evidence-based technical information to help your business.
 
All event details: www.potato.org.uk/events
 
Jenny Bashford: jenny.bashford@.ahdb.org.uk; mob: 07500 100 715
 
Hannah Goodwin: hannah.goodwin@.ahdb.org.uk; mob: 07813 540 744.
 
Should we be visiting your area?
 
Please get in touch with Richard Laverick, Chief Technical Officer if there is a specific topic you would like us to cover Richard.Laverick@ahdb.org.uk or Tel 024 7647 8678
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