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Seed potato trials look to science for disease alternatives

Chemistry is fast disappearing from farming’s toolbox, but researchers and farmers are working together to trial and demonstrate alternative solutions to protect the high health status of Scotland’s seed potato industry, as Ken Fletcher, editor of The Scottish Farmer reports in this news story.

The third in a series of case studies, developed as part of the RHASS Presidential Initiative (PI), exploring the science behind food and drink production, will look at how farmer owned-co-operative, Scottish Agronomy, is collaborating with farmers, to develop alternative and more integrated pest management schemes.

Scottish Agronomy has been working with Jim Reid, of Milton of Mathers Farm, near St Cyrus, who has been involved with seed potato trials for over a decade. Together they have been looking at the benefits and practicality of spreading straw mulch and applying mineral oils to the crop canopy and comparing this integrated approach with that of using a pyrethroid insecticide.

Source: The Scottish Farmer. Read the full story here
Photo: Jim Reid of Milton of Mathers is working with the RHASS PI programme to reduce the cost of growing seed potatoes. Courtesy and credit The Scottish Farmer

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