Adrian Cunnington of Potato Storage Insight warns that due to the unprecedented lack of certainty in the UK industry and delays in decision-making, there may potentially be a lot of short-term storage of seed this spring. Therefore, it is crucial not to compromise seed quality by being complacent about how it is handled, even for the shortest periods.
Fundamentally, seed storage must follow the same rules as any other potato crop in storage, and it is essential to ensure that it remains dry. However, once a seed crop is transferred to a jumbo bag, this can be challenging as, despite most bags being “ventilated,” there is little or no mechanism to drive air through the crop. This leads to heat buildup in the center of the bag, making the outer layers highly susceptible to condensation. If this happens, disease can quickly develop and compromise seed quality.
To prevent this, best practice demands that bags are at least placed on pallets to allow air to permeate the base of the bag.
“Do not place bags directly on concrete floors,” advises Mr. Cunnington. He suggests that risks will be greatly reduced if seed can be handled in, or decanted into, one-tonne boxes. It is essential to actively ventilate to manage temperature and minimize condensation.
There is further advice on seed storage in the Seed Storage Guide which is still available on the AHDB archive and can be freely downloaded, Mr. Cunnington points out.
There is more information on storage from Potato Storage Insight at www.potatostorageinsight.com where you can sign-up for the PSI Synopsis bulletin, issued monthly on subscription.
Source: Potato Storage Insight (PSI)
Photo: Stack jumbo bags on pallets on receipt for very short term storage. Credit: PSI