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Storage Bulletin - January 2014

Publication Date: 
31 January 2014

Stored crops under threat?  

Recently at SBCSR, we have seen a significant increase in the number of reported problems in storage. Some crops which didn’t set skins well have been notable victims to rot infections and the same would apply to susceptible varieties which have a heightened risk of skin spot infection. Check your stocks now for any signs of problems!

Additionally, we have seen a rash of issues centred around some specific varieties including Melody, Orchestra and Safari detected by a range of different growers across a variety of locations. Affected tubers are found throughout stocks at high incidences (over 10%), with unaffected tubers adjacent to those affected. All have displayed similar but not identical external symptoms of depressed brown or blackened areas with occasional white fluffy fungal growths (pictured below).
Symptoms have varied but are similar to rubbery rot (Geotrichum candidum) which may be associated with tubers from late harvests out of previously waterlogged soils. It is a relatively weak pathogen that hasn’t been seen to any extent in the recent past but it may be that environmental conditions this season lend themselves towards its development. If it is rubbery rot, it is clear that different varieties are producing different symptoms but some serious breakdown has already been observed – characterised initially by a black exudate from the skin. Samples are currently undergoing more detailed diagnostic tests and further details will be posted on the latest news page on the AHDB Potatoes website at

In the meantime, growers and store managers are advised to be vigilant and can seek further advice from Sutton Bridge CSR on 0800 02 82 111.

CIPC re-treatment

CIPC best practice guidance from the Be CIPC Compliant campaign is to treat within 3 weeks after harvest. Assuming that advice has been followed, crop inspections at this time of year may suggest the need for additional applications. But don’t rush in with an additional dose without spending some time looking to see what is really happening with your crop.

Accepted advice is now not to apply CIPC as soon as there are signs of renewed sprouting as this first response is often just slight movement or swelling of the sprout (pictured) after dormancy break. This new tissue then readily absorbs CIPC already in the store’s atmosphere and begins to blacken at the growing point and die back, changing colour as it does. Truly uncontrolled sprouts will be "pearly white" not blackened at the tip, browned, creamy coloured or glassy looking.

Remember that this season’s new label recommendations for cold stores (those held at 5°C or below) limit treatment to just one application per season.

Keep up to speed on best practice for re-treatment of any crops needing a second dose of CIPC at Remember to ensure all CIPC recommendations are taken from a BASIS qualified advisor and are recorded. Use plant protection products safely. Always read the label and product information before use.

Storage 2020

Storage 2020 International Storage Conference on Thursday 13 February 2014 at Peterborough Arena, East of England Showground, Peterborough, Cambs. PE2 6HE. Sponsored by Certis and supported by Omnivent. Plenary papers from international speakers plus workshop sessions and trade stands.

The conference, hosted by AHDB Potatoes, features horizon scanning plenary sessions which will consider the role storage will play in the future production of potatoes and other agricultural crops.

“Storage 2020 has a bespoke line-up of international experts and practically-focused workshops, carefully chosen to add value to your business,” says Adrian Cunnington, head of Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research. “The comprehensive programme is packed with relevant topics specifically tailored to prepare for the future and to provide ideas and solutions to benefit your bottom line.”

Renowned Dutch specialist, Romke Wustman of Wageningen UR/PPO in the Netherlands will deliver a paper on why we need to store. Romke will outline where the global demand for food will be over the decades ahead, how this demand will be met and the role storage will play.  His address will discuss population growth and explore examples of systems being adopted in different continents to meet rising food demand. Romke will provide expert opinion on the likely impact in Europe, the effect of competition and whether we will we need to grow more and have increased storage capacity to allow us to provide year round supply from our own crops, rather than supplementing with imported crop.

International storage guru Todd Forbush from Techmark Inc. of Michigan, USA will offer and insight into practical  but technological solutions to progressive potato, fruit and vegetable producers and companies across the world. Todd’s specialist knowledge takes him to both developing and developed nations which includes advising in extreme environments, including a current potato storage project in Alaska. Todd will provide expert opinion and insight into technical developments in storage expected on a global basis by 2020. 

With 28 years’ experience in potato production for the fresh retail market, Greenvale’s Technical Director Paul Coleman will discuss how we store potatoes more cost-effectively, especially against a background of ever-increasing energy costs and how new technologies can be put to best effect.

“Storage 2020 has been put together to reflect the future of year-round potato supply and the core topics that will affecting the industry,” says event sponsor Morley Benson, of Certis UK. “This unmissable conference is an excellent opportunity to understand how GB, as part of the global potato industry, will achieve greater sustainability and profitability over the next six years.”

To register for this event  online go to –  it’s just £30 for levy payers (supported by RDPE) or £75 for others. Alternatively, call Miya on 07792 209919 or email

Storage 2020 T.I.P.S. information platform – now online. The place to go for online storage information available at Select Online Toolbox and then The Interactive Potato Store.

StoreCheck: a new store auditing service being launched by Sutton Bridge in conjunction with Farm Energy this spring. Store leakage measurement and energy usage advice will feature prominently. Yorkshire-based seed and ware grower Ed Lindley endorses the support offered by the SBCSR team to assist growers.  “I recommend anyone storing potatoes to approach Sutton Bridge for the type of targeted, practical advice provided by their StoreCheck assessment. I spent a few hundred pounds on a store analysis and from that realised cost savings of many thousands. I was storing crops in the wrong format for the design of my buildings and getting the air flow all wrong. By using Sutton Bridge I have saved on wasted crop and energy…” Call 01406 359419 for more information.

2014 Events organised or supported by AHDB Potatoes
Register or get further information at

4 February  South West Potato Day at Frogmary Green Farm, South Petherton, Somerset.

4 February  Precision Farming for Field Veg & Potatoes, Stockbridge Technology, Cawood, Yorks.

13 February  Storage 2020 conference - see details above.

20 February  Hereford Potato Day at Royal National College for the Blind, Hereford.

25-26 February CPNB 2014: The Dundee Conference, West Park Conference Centre, Dundee.

27 February   Storage Workshop at Finavon Hotel, Forfar, Angus.
An opportunity to catch up on topical storage issues with Adrian Cunnington, Glyn Harper and Robert Burns plus Daan Kiezebrink of SRUC.

5-6 March   SBCSR Store Managers’ Course at Wychwood Park Hotel, Cheshire (M6 junction 16) Booking still open with reduced rates for AHDB Potatoes levy payers.

2 July   East Midlands Potato Day at Manor Farm, Holbeach Hurn, Spalding, Lincolnshire.

3 July  Sutton Bridge Storage Day, celebrating 50 years of storage research, at SBCSR, Lincs. 

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