â€œThe traditional way of testing skin-set is putting a large sample through a barrel roller, and then make a judgement based on how they look after thatâ€ said Bill.
â€œOur system will actually give you a number, in newton-meters, for the force needed to break the skin of the tuber.
â€œWeâ€™re using a modified screwdriver that tests torque. Some growers say â€˜I know what a set skin looks like, I donâ€™t need thatâ€™ â€“ but for us, when weâ€™re running a trial and putting one option against another we can now put a value on it.
â€œOther growers are very interested, maybe in the future it will become something that will help them make decisions in the field.â€
Dr Bill Watts can be reached at [email protected]