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Storage Bulletin - June 2015

Publication Date: 
17 September 2015

Storage Bulletin - June 2015


On 10 June, AHDB moved to a simplified family of brands for its activities across agriculture and horticulture. Research and promotional work for the potato industry, formerly carried out by the Potato Council, will now fall under the AHDB Potatoes division.

ON-FARM STORAGE DAY — 24th June kindly hosted by Heal Farms, Shawbury, Shropshire, SY4 4HG

A free-to-register day of practically-focused presentations and workshops with research results and guidance on the uptake of best practice for commercial storage. Suppliers who have been collaborating with Heal Farms and others working on Sutton Bridge R&D projects will be present and there will be lots of networking opportunity during coffee breaks and over lunch.


10:30   Welcome Adrian Cunnington, Sutton Bridge CSR;
Peter Jones, Heal Farms & Ian Jackson, Mercian
10:50   How to get the best from box storage
Adrian Cunnington, Sutton Bridge CSR
11:20   Warmer storage for fresh sector markets
Glyn Harper, Sutton Bridge CSR
11:45   AHDB Potato Council Sprout Suppression 2020 forum: key messages and actions
Philip Burgess, AHDB Potatoes

Afternoon workshops

A   Solutions for CIPC Compliant application
Adrian Briddon, Sutton Bridge CSR & Mike Sharp, Welvent
B   NW Europe potato study tour: What did we learn?
Mark Jones, Maincrop Potatoes; Sandy Walker, MS Walker & Philip Burgess, AHDB
C   StoreCheck+- auditing for optimal efficiency
Steve Saunders, Sutton Bridge CSR & Jon Swain, Farm Energy
D   Disease impact in storage (potato clinic) Bring your samples from field or store!
Graeme Stroud & Glyn Harper, Sutton Bridge CSR        

EXTRA! Display of new AHDB Benchmarking Storage Cost Calculator by Nick Blake of Andersons

To register, please phone Emma Bates on 01406 359419 or go

Other forthcoming events organised or supported by AHDB Potatoes:

30 June 2015 East Midlands Potato Day      Register now! Holbeach, Lincolnshire    
9 July 2015 East of Scotland Potato Day Kinloss, Morayshire    
23 July 2015 SPots: Strategic Potato Farm Open Day Rugeley, Staffordshire    
13 August 2015 Potatoes in Practice Invergowrie,  Dundee    
12/13 November 2015

BP2015 Exhibition & Industry Dinner

See for more information on how to register for this event, now based at HIC. New, larger Industry Dinner for 2015 - book now!

Harrogate International Centre,Yorks  

All event registration information is at, unless stated otherwise.


CIPC is an essential tool for potatoes growers in Great Britain. Control of sprouting is key for most markets and CIPC offers cost effective and reliable control.

Over the last few years there have been a number of CIPC residues detected above the MRL (maximum residue level). These exceedances are taken very seriously by the authorities and markets and further exceedances could result in total withdrawal of the product from use. And we are moving to lower pan-European rates in 2017, so the maximum dose rates will be reduced again next season. It’s essential everyone plays their part to retain CIPC.

Checklist before harvest

  • Is a sprout suppressant necessary?
  • Are there any suitable alternatives to CIPC? Cold storage and ethylene can be suitable for the fresh market
  • Am I aware of the maximum dose rates? These are reducing each season until 2017
  • Is my store suitable for gassing? Many unmodified stores no longer comply with best practice
  • Bulk stores: am I using fan speed control? (inverter/VFD)
  • Do I need to change my stacking of boxes to ensure a best practice application? CIPC should enter the pallet slots before it reaches the roof space.
  • Is my applicator a member of the National Association of Agricultural Contractors' CIPC group?
  • Is my advisor BASIS qualified?
  • Remember the owner of the crop is responsible in law for the crop and any applications made to it.

Resources available


At this time of year, many stores will soon becoming empty, if they are not already and it will be time to think about preparation for next season ahead of any busy periods of work at harvest.


Routine preparation should always include a thorough clean out of crop debris, dust and soil to minimise the risk of disease carry-over into the new crop.

Once any major material has been removed, vacuuming is the preferred method for this as it prevents re-distribution of dust, in particular, which would otherwise occur by sweeping. This can be topped up by treatment with a disinfectant, such as peracetic acid, but there is no point in using a chemical if the dirt is not removed first.

Pay particular attention to any areas where there has been any wet rot as these ought to be steam cleaned to remove any engrained contamination which could transfer to the new crop when it is loaded into store.


When stores are empty, it is a chance to carry out an assessment of the store to identify any potential improvements that can be done before harvest or – for more major upgrades – in 12 months’ time. The enhanced-for-2015 StoreCheck+service offered by AHDB Potatoes provides an air leakage test as an integral part of the audit and there is now a follow-up consultation included in the package to discuss the report findings, implications for the store in question and next steps. We can help you with your CIPC planning too. For further information, call Steve Saunders on 01406 359414 or email


Information driving the decision-making process in store needs to be accurate to be of value and all too often the team at SBCSR come across stores where probes are faulty causing fans to run too long or temperature gradients to go unnoticed. A simple check made against a good hand-held thermometer is worthwhile to ensure everything is working as it should be. Replace any sensors which have stretched cables or damaged sleeves – they are seldom accurate afterwards.

Electricity consumption

Electricity is the major variable cost in storage and yet so many farms have no means of measuring the cost of it on a store-by-store basis. A simple sub-metercan often be added using current transformers which are fitted around the supply cables. It will soon pay for itself in providing crucial detail on energy use and drive improved management of the store and help to make it as cost-effective as possible. Why not make that call to your electrician or storage specialist today?


Finally, take an hour or two at this time of year to plan so that, when it comes to harvest, you know where you want to put different crops to give you the best chance of maximising your return from storage. Think about factors such as contract delivery times and sprout suppressant use in relation to varieties – keep the more dormant varieties together as these should need less treatment.

For further advice, call the AHDB Potatoes Storage Advice Line free on 0800 02 82 111.

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