Europe, UK, Ireland, Events, News April 2024, Pests and Diseases, Seed

New short course lets students of all ages get their hands dirty as tattie roguers

The UK’s only tattie roguing course could see summer job hunters become a key part of Scotland’s world-leading seed potato industry.

Potato roguers play a vital role in the sector as they help maintain high health standards. Roguers patrol crops, identifying and removing diseased or defect plants, helping to ensure that Scotland’s hard-won reputation for quality seed potatoes is maintained.

In the current climate the threat from diseases such as potato virus Y and leaf roll is increasing, and producers are looking to hire skilled and hard-working roguers. Skilled workers can earn upwards of £15 an hour, with a potential income of up to £4,500 for the season.

The first step is to get qualified. Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) runs the UK’s only potato roguing course. The course has been run by SRUC for at least 58 years, with records going back to 1966 although it is thought that it was running before this time. The course is practical and hands-on with plots of the 20 most widely grown potato varieties, diseased plants, and off-types for candidates to get to grips with.

The course’s instructors have a wealth of knowledge and experience from walking seed potato crops and will guide candidates through the important features of the Seed Potato Classification Scheme (SPCS) during the week-long course that culminates in a practical exam.

Successful candidates receive a certificate recognised throughout the industry. Armed with this qualification partipants can reassure potential employers that they have the skills, senses, and stamina to defend their crops against threats such as blackleg and virus.

Potato roguing involves working long hours day to day, but the roguing season is short so this is an ideal job for a student during their summer break.

SRUC’s Potato Roguing Course will run from 17-21 June at Mains of Tertowie Farm, Kinellar, Aberdeen AB21 0TS. There will be a one-day refresher course on Monday 24 June for candidates who have previously been on the course and wish to brush up their skills. Funding for those who meet certain criteria (Next Generation and Women in Agriculture) may be available via Lantra Scotland.

The course is filling up fast, so to secure your place email Grace Watson at

Source: SRUC. Original news release here
Cover image: Credit SRUC

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