On 28 January, growers will hear from some of the country's top experts and get to have their say during the workshop sessions. Disease will be brought to the fore with a workshop on the threat posed by Dickeya spp, another form of blackleg, which has already devastated Dutch crops and could do the same in Scotland. Concerns over the increase in alternaria early blight and questions over how to control it will also be raised.
Arguments over how GM could help are expected, but a special debate by two Scottish Crop Research Institute heavyweights, Finlay Dale and Gavin Ramsay, will highlight the pros and cons of a sometimes complicated strategy.
Another hot topic is expected to be mechanical innovation. Lawrence Defty will consider the potential of automated grading. In addition, with sulphuric acid no longer available for haulm destruction, there will be presentations on alternative chemical and mechanical options.