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Storage Bulletin - May 2011

Publication Date: 
20 May 2011

Do you use CIPC?

Despite a great deal of promotional activity, many store managers are still not aware of the regulations and recommendations set out in the Code of Best Practice for use of CIPC.

If the chemical is used on your crop, you are responsible for the treatments that have been applied and for compliance with the requirements of the Code. Assured Produce auditors will be verifying this in their next round of assessments.

One key area is assessment of the need for repeat applications. There is a lot of evidence now to support the policy of waiting to see if any small signs of re-growth actually require further treatment. Often the CIPC already on the crop can permeate the new sprout quickly and curtail any further sprout development and, with increasing pressure on residues, this kind of best practice is just what the industry needs to ensure retention of this vital chemical.

For a copy of the Code, please contact Kate Balloch on 01406 359418 or email kballoch@potato.org.uk

Looking ahead

As the 2010/11 storage season starts to draw to a close, it is useful to take the opportunity to look ahead to next season. Take a self-critical look at your store management and the way it coped in 2010; the conditions last autumn certainly put it to the test.

Are there things you could have done better? Are there simple improvements that would contribute to greater success in the future?   Have you taken steps to look critically at your costs? Have you measured your electricity usage?

Simply fitting a meter to your store can lead to worthwhile savings – take a look at our advice online at www.potatocouncil.9web.co.uk/energy or call us on 0800 02 82 111. If you are investing in new equipment, remember to look at its energy performance as well as cost; some fans use their entire value in energy within a year so it is important to get an efficient one, even if it costs a few pounds more. Could you benefit from fitting inverters? If you use CIPC, the savings in chemical can offer a rapid pay back: see www.potatocouncil.9web.co.uk/cipc for more information. Also, be sure to take urgent action if anything was not working as it should at the end of the season and book contractors early for remedial or routine service work!

The safest source of seed supply?

The Safe Haven Certification Scheme was originally developed to minimise the risk of bacterial ring rot (a notifiable disease) becoming established in the British potato industry. However, speaking at the Storage Forum held at Sutton Bridge in March, bacteriologist Dr Ian Toth – now of the newly-formed James Hutton Institute (formerly SCRI) –  highlighted how the Scheme can help to minimise the threat from Dickeya solani, a new blackleg-causing pathogen which is increasing in prevalence (and is, unfortunately, not notifiable).

The cleaning and hygiene practices required by the Scheme not only protect against introducing new pathogens, but can also help to reduce the loadings of more common rot-inducing bacteria all the way down the seed supply chain.

The majority of British seed is now grown to Safe Haven standards so, if you are growing ware, accredited seed is available for you to use next season. Given the obvious benefits in minimising the disease risk to your crop, growers should contact their suppliers to ask about Safe Haven seed as soon as possible. Find out more by visiting... www.potatocouncil.9web.co.uk/safe-haven.

Events

Wednesday 8th June
West Midlands Potato Day, organised by AHDB Potatoes at Woodlands Farm, Weston-under-Lizard, Staffordshire.

Tuesday 5th July
East Midlands Potato Day, organised by AHDB Potatoes at Manor Farm, Holbeach Hurn, Lincolnshire. 

The main theme of these two events will be agronomy and the days comprise some short presentations followed by field-based demonstrations and discussions.

Tuesday 19th July
Fife Potato Day, organised by AHDB Potatoes at West Hall, Cupar. Contact Miya Kotecha at mkotecha@potato.org.uk or phone her on 0247 647 8782 for more details.

Thursday 11th August
Potatoes in Practice at Balruddery Farm, Dundee.
Britain's major field-based event dedicated to the potato industry, held at the James Hutton Institute (formerly SCRI) in Scotland. See www.scri.ac.uk/events/pip2011 for more details.
 
Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th November
British Potato 2011 at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate. BP2011 is the dedicated event for the British potato industry, with direct relevance for all those involved in growing, handling, packing and processing the crop. The event will feature an extensive trade show plus seminars targeted at improving grower returns and competitiveness. There will also be an industry dinner on the Wednesday evening. See http://www.bp2011.net/ for more details.

AHDB Potatoes Storage Advice Line  —  call free on 0800 02 82 111

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