You are here

Storage Bulletin - April 2013

Publication Date: 
23 April 2013

Many stores are now being emptied as one of the most difficult seasons in living memory comes to an end. However, the late start to the new season means all those crops still in store will be in demand, providing they can meet buyers’ specifications.

Evidence of breakdown due to soft rot and blight is still being seen from a few stores (this has been slowed in cold stores) and, with prices at record levels, surprises like this are certainly unwelcome. Continued vigilance is therefore important to ensure quality is maintained and delivered.

‘F’ gas for fridges

If you have refrigeration systems in your stores, it is important to get the fridge serviced on an annual basis and to ensure your ‘F’ gas records are all up to date. ‘F’ gas records are a legal requirement on all systems with a charge of 3kg or more, so potato storage systems are included. 

Once you know when the store will be unloaded (if it isn’t already), get in touch with contractors in good time to arrange for your service work to be done over the summer. Don’t wait until the companies have their diaries full!

If you are still using R22 refrigerant (check your service sheets or look around your compressor to find the label that identifies the type used in your system), you really need to be planning ahead to deal with its phase out on 31 Dec 2014. No replacement of R22 can be made after this date — even from reclaimed stocks so, basically, there are two options.

Option 1 is to replace the fridge system which is obviously expensive and might only be considered if the system is written-off and due for renewal.  Option 2 is to move to an alternative ‘drop-in’ refrigerant. If you do not act you are taking a risk as, if your systems break down or develop a leak after 1 Jan 2015, you  won’t be able to get them repaired. It is therefore strongly recommended that you speak now with your refrigeration specialist if you still have systems charged with R22 in use. Visit for more information.

BASIS training for potato store managers and advisors

With the heightened emphasis on controls within the Potato Industry CIPC Stewardship scheme (, now is an ideal time to consider specialist post-harvest training to BASIS standard for store managers and advisors.

Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research is hosting the next course on Wednesday 8 & Thursday 9 May with the BASIS exam following on Friday 17 May.

For those not based in the East, there is the alternative of a second course being held at the Farm Energy Centre at Stoneleigh on 11 & 12 June with the course exam on Friday 21 June.

The tutor for both courses is John Horrocks, a BASIS Approved Trainer with 38 years’ experience in the UK and European Potato Industry, who is UK BASIS and FACTS qualified.

Details of both courses are on the AHDB Potatoes website at:


Events diary

To register for AHDB Potatoes events, please call Miya Kotecha on 0247 647 8782.

4 July 2013
AHDB Potatoes East Midlands Potato Day: Manor Farm, Holbeach Hurn, Lincs. PE12 8LR

4-18 July 2013
A series of regional evening and breakfast CIPC briefings is planned for July, if there is news to impart following the Advisory Committee on Pesticides’ Review of CIPC.
See ‘CIPC position in abeyance’ in our February bulletin
Watch the website for details at

16 July 2013
AHDB Potatoes Fife Potato Day: Milton, Leuchars, Fife. KY16 0AB

8 August 2013
Potatoes in Practice, James Hutton Institute, Balruddery Farm, Dundee. DD2 5LJ

22 – 24 October 2013
European Association for Potato Research, Post-Harvest Section Meeting
Warsaw, Poland. EAPR bursaries available for young researchers to attend. ‘Early bird’ discount until 15 May 2013; see

27 – 28 November 2013
British Potato 2013, Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, Yorks.
FREE visitor entry. See

Call the AHDB Potatoes’s Storage Advice Line on 0800 02 82 111 for free telephone advice on storage.

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