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Storage Bulletin - September 2014

Publication Date: 
23 September 2014

CIPC remains under Stewardship and further measures to phase usage down to a pan-European level by 2017 have been introduced.
The CIPC Approval Holders announced new rates of use for 2014/15 in July and this has recently been communicated in a round of nationwide CIPC update meetings. If you missed them, this season will see a reduction in the overall limits to 30 grams/tonne for fresh market and 58 g/t for processing. The maximum single dose has been cut to 18 grams/tonne and the minimum interval between treatment and sale for consumption has been extended to 14 days. The limit of one treatment on all crops held in cold stores (ie at 5°C and below) continues because of slow residue decline at low temperature; a full dose of 18g/tonne is unlikely to be necessary at this temperature if best practice is followed.  It should be noted that all previous approvals have now been revoked so any old CIPC stock must be used as outlined above.
There is also a modified STORE CHECKLIST for this coming season. Copies can be downloaded from the Be CIPC Compliant website above. In summary, steps have been taken to ensure that these checks are completed by crop owners prior to CIPC treatment. It has become apparent that many are still relying on CIPC contractors to do the checks and yet it is not the contractor who is responsible for the crop and the building in which it is stored. NAAC Contractors will still carry a supply of these forms but have agreed to use these only when absolutely necessary and any such ‘emergency’ action will be limited to one contractor-supplied form per store. After that, no form, no CIPC.
Issued by AHDB on behalf of the Potato Industry CIPC Stewardship Group
With harvest well underway in many parts of the country, attention is now turning to store loading. As always, but especially in the light of last season, it would be prudent to think about some key considerations that should be made when deciding to store a particular crop. Just because there is a store in the yard, doesn’t mean it has to be filled. And, if it is filled, it needs to work well and not be compromised by overloading! 
  • Has the crop got a specific market, contracted or otherwise? 
  • Is the crop of a standard good enough to satisfy that market? Is it economic to store this particular crop? 
  • Will the anticipated or contracted return cover the cost of production and storage? 
  • Is the cost of storage known? 
  • Are there any ways to limit storage costs for this crop?  
  • Are skins adequately set? 
  • Are disease and damage levels low enough? 
  • Is the store suitable? 
  • Can the crop be adequately ventilated for rapid drying and/or cooling? 
  • Is air distribution optimised and have any short circuits been eliminated? Will a sprout suppressant be required? 
  • Is an inverter available to control fan speed? 
  • With boxes, is the stacking pattern suitable for it to be applied? 
  • Does a product need to be used that doesn’t leave a residue (in stores also used for cereals, for example)?
Inevitably, there are many questions that can be asked and answers won’t always be immediately available. But it is crucial to have an understanding of the key requirements to satisfy the market and have confidence to know that, with some appropriate management, these will delivered.
A crucially important aspect at this time of year is condensation control. Crops will be coming out of the ground at relatively warm temperature with a high respiration rate. A lot of field heat will need removing. Effective ventilation in this situation is essential, otherwise temperature gradients build up and, at the high humidities that naturally occur in freshly-lifted potatoes, the crop will suffer from condensation and the warm, moist conditions created are ideal for the spread of diseases. For further information see Section 11 (p28) of the AHDB Potatoes Store Managers’ Guide at
It is also important, where crops are destined for the fresh market, to bring temperatures down as quickly as practicable to prevent development of blemish diseases. Rapid pull-down (½°C/day) is best to suppress the development of black dot, which can be identified by the characteristic black sclerotia (pictured) which are visible using a simple hand lens or USB powered microscope (e.g. Maplin product N43HH, £49.99).

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