With the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) having to cut back its inspection programme in the midst of continued COVID pressures, alongside increasing aphid issues, Agrico has upped the level of technical support offered to seed potato growers. Charlotte Cunningham (@CharCunningham) reports for CPM (Crop Production Magazine).
For growers in England and Wales, the cutting back of APHA’s inspection programme and restriction of the number of inspections for basic seeds (field generations 3-5) presented problems.
As a result, Agrico has stepped up its technical support to growers, visiting registered seed crops multiple times and capturing drone footage to keep up to speed with developments.
Says Archie Gibson, executive director at Agrico UK: “With significant aphid pressure in some parts of the country, we’re working alongside seed growers to ensure virus load in seed remains low. We’ll be testing post-harvest and supplying seed with a virus rating so main crop growers can be reassured of the quality of stock next year.”
“On 21 Aug, growers are welcome to come and look at varieties such as Alouette and Jacky next to traditional standards such as Desiree and Maris Peer. On 9-10 Sept we also have our Variety Open Day at Crowland, Lincs, where growers will be able to see the full portfolio of varieties.”
Read the full article by Charlotte Cunningham in CPM here.
Photo: Jacky potato variety – posted by Crop4Sight on Twitter