Europe, UK, Ireland, Events, News July 2022

Potatoes in Practice 2022: An unmissable date in the potato calendar

Potatoes in Practice, the UK’s largest field event for potatoes and a highlight of the season, brings the sector together to view variety demonstrations, learn about current and new research while viewing trade exhibits in one place. PIP is set to return to Balruddery Farm (Angus, Dundee DD2 5LJ) on Thursday 11th August 2022, when it will focus on new research and current challenges, with the support of event partners James Hutton Institute, Agrii UK, SRUC and Potato Review.

It is a welcome comeback for an event that has become an unmissable date in the potato industry calendar. After cancelling the event in 2020 and holding a socially distanced event in 2021, Potatoes in Practice is back in full force, with a full seminar programme, demonstration plots, and field exhibits where the trade can interact and re-connect to discuss issues including sustainability, food security, net-zero, pests and diseases, new varieties, IPM and current market challenges.

Notwithstanding the many challenges for the potato industry, Potatoes in Practice 2022 is shaping up to be a vital forum for the discussion of key topics about the technical and business realities. The seminar programme for this year includes the following talks:

  • Seed Potato Organisation, Introduction to a New Organisation for Seed Potato Growers: This year, Potatoes in Practice will host a meeting of the new Seed Potato Organisation, an initiative currently in development which aims to support the seed potato industry. Views are being sought from seed potato growers; visit the Seed Potato Organisation website to learn more.
  • Professor Lesley Torrance, James Hutton Institute: A world-leading International Potato Innovation Centre. This seminar will describe the Institute’s concept of a centre of excellence to translate innovation and research into solutions for the potato industry. The International Potato Innovation Centre is envisioned as a collaborative partnership of researchers, knowledge brokers and commercial companies, acting as a nucleus for the sector, bringing together partners and conducting challenge-led research, promoting translation of innovations, and accelerating the adoption of new research products across the potato value chain.
  • Dr Philip Burgess, Scottishpotatoes.org: Bringing “PCN Action Scotland” to Life. This seminar will discuss work funded by a Scottish Government investment of £2.2m in the future sustainability of the Scottish potato sector. The project aims to protect the land base for future generations, control the PCN epidemic and enable the introduction of PCN-resistant varieties. Dr Burgess will answer three key questions during his seminar. 1. Why should I be worried about PCN? 2. How do I know I have PCN? and 3. Can resistant varieties help me?
  • Archie Gibson, Mercury Programme Partner: Centre for Agricultural Sustainable Innovation (CASI) Crop Quality Centre for the UK Potato Industry. The prospect of developing an industry-owned and run quality centre, the first of its kind in the UK, is really exciting. The quality centre will aim to assess multiples of 300 tuber samples from the field or store using state-of-the-art optical sorters capable of reporting size bands and skin finish, while also checking for internal defects, dry matter and storability. In addition to field inspections, these quality assessments will reinforce the reputation of the Scottish seed industry promoting our high-grade seed for export and domestic customers alike. Assessment data from seed lots and ware samples will be collated and confidentially returned to the grower, to help them validate varietal economic performance and integrated pest management strategies along with other useful benchmarking information. The centre will be open to all potato growers whether growing table potatoes or certified seed for export or the home market.

Dr Philip Burgess, director of Scottishpotatoes.org, comments: “Potatoes in Practice is a unique event that brings together the whole potato supply chain into one field and the range of discussions this year will cover everything from geopolitical events to the rooting structures of different varieties!

“In summary I see an industry facing many pressures but determined to find a way ahead. There will be much to discuss and see at this year’s PIP. Come along and find out what is happening in the sector.”

For further information, visit the Potatoes in Practice website.

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