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Storage Bulletin - March 2016

Publication Date: 
15 March 2016


We would like to thank everyone who supported our recent Storage Forum held on 1st March at the Hilton East Midlands hotel at Kegworth.

The event featured a packed programme opened by Rob Clayton, the Strategy Director for AHDB Potatoes, who emphasised the importance of people in the decision-making processes we need to run a successful storage operation; preserving skills is an important aspect of any sustainability plan. An update on work at Sutton Bridge CSR on CIPC application to box stores was provided by Adrian Briddon (right) who spelt out the major changes expected to use of the chemical in order to comply with new labels which will be in place for the 2016 and 2017 harvests.

Next season’s limits are listed below and further information can, as always, be found at The other major change will be the statutory need for ‘active recirculation’ of the CIPC fog which, essentially, will require the use of a fan as part of the application process.

Results from work on the synergistic effects of ethylene when used with CIPC were presented by Sutton Bridge’s Glyn Harper while Shropshire grower Michael Bubb (right) gave an excellent and compelling summary of why his business chose to invest in new storage. “Try doing nothing and see where that gets you” was one particularly insightful view he shared.

Nick Blake of Andersons Eastern followed this with a quick-fire tour of the AHDB Storage Cost Calculator, a valuable tool available to all store operators to get a strong grip of their storage costs which is downloadable free from the AHDB Potatoes website at

The day’s interactive workshops were focused around the ‘disease triangle’ and rot management in the light of widespread difficulty in stores this season. There were three sessions in all devoted to the susceptibility of the host crop, the influence of the store environment and control of the pathogen respectively. Our thanks to co-presenters Alison Blackwell, Tom Neat, Stuart Wale and Simon Alexander.

AHDB’s Adrian Cunnington reminded the audience of the need for us to all look at the long-term implications of our storage through the on-goingStorage 2020 campaign to drive store improvements and his colleague Phil Burgess summed up the key take-home messages for the day.

Copies and selected videos of presentations will be available on the AHDB Potatoes website at in the coming days.

Volunteer required to help steer SBCSR

AHDB Potatoes is looking for a volunteer grower/store manager to join its Advisory Committee for Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research. The Committee meets three times a year to review performance of the site and steer its development. If you are interested in contributing at a strategic level to the research, knowledge exchange and business activities of SBCSR and would like to be considered for the role, please contact Rob Clayton, AHDB Potatoes’ Strategy Director, at before 17 March.

RPA Countryside Productivity Scheme

Adrian Cunnington writes:

I had recently become aware of some issues with rejection of proposals for grants under the CPS’ controlled atmosphere storage initiative for growers who are storing processing crops and are therefore, by default, obliged to use sprout suppressants. I wrote to the RPA as I was concerned that this important sector of the industry was being excluded from the Scheme.

This week I have received the following from the Rural Payments Agency:

“We are pleased to confirm that upon consideration we have removed the element of the condition that prevented applications for controlled atmosphere storage where the use of chemical sprout suppressants were proposed within the stores progressing to full application. Therefore successful outline applicants will be able to submit a full application providing they can meet all other conditions identified in their outline decision letter.

Applicants will still need to evidence that their proposals are for controlled atmosphere storage and not, for example, simply for temperature controlled stores. Further, they will also need to demonstrate that the level of sprout suppressant used will be reduced to the minimum possible level. RPA sponsors should now have been in contact with those successful applicants that had previously confirmed their project had not yet commenced and were still wishing to apply.

As you will be aware we are in the early stages of the RDPE 2014-2020 programme and we are anticipating future rounds of Countryside Productivity. We would be happy to work with you as future rounds are developed.”

I hope this will provide some comfort to those who have been caught in the middle of this ‘misunderstanding’; it is positive news that the industry looks to have the opportunity to benefit from future assistance as we seek to upgrade our storage base in the coming years.

European Association for Potato Research

EAPR has announced details for its Post-Harvest Section Meeting to be held in Wageningen, the Netherlands on 29/30 June 2016.

Registration and submission of abstracts for the meeting is at

Organising committee: Glyn Harper and Tjaart Hofman

Timetable:  Arrivals Tuesday June 28

Section meeting Wednesday June 29 and Thursday morning June 30

Excursion Thursday afternoon June 30

Conference location: Hof van Wageningen in the centre of Wageningen

Contributions may be made on all aspects of post‐harvest. Questions and challenges that may be addressed include:

  • Needs of the fresh and/or seed potato market for control of storage diseases or to address 
  • trade barriers.
  • Market demands for fresh market potatoes. Requirements on residues, quality parameters, 
  • factors affecting shelf‐life. What can be achieved by changing storage practices?-Potato processor needs.
  • How do suppliers meet the requirements of supermarket quality standards regarding food
  • safety, including acrylamide and glycoalkaloids?
  • What advances will help businesses become more sustainable?
  • Improving the economics of the industry, incentives for reduction of carbon footprint,
  • improvements needed for store climate control and distribution of air and sproutsuppressants,
  • How to reduce waste and losses?

A potato industry leader will discuss current and future post‐harvest issues and the need for innovations and further research. Each session may also be prefaced by a similar industry introduction. For further information please contact: info@eapr‐

Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board, Stoneleigh Park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 2TL.  Mar 2016. © AHDB

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