AHDB’s Storage Network Offers Support for Store Managers
AHDB has launched its new Storage Network, as part of a GBP800,000 fund ring-fenced for sprout suppression and storage support.
The new platform will enable potato storage managers from levy-paying business to be able to call on the network for a site visit and one-to-one-advice, delivered by independent advisors who have received training and information from AHDB experts.
The new initiative comes at a time where significant changes in the way potatoes are store are going to be needed in order to cope with the expected loss of chemical options for use on the 2020 crop, most notably Chlorpropham (CIPC).
“The Storage Network has been devised in order to allow agronomists and advisors to act as proxies for AHDB storage experts, allowing people to get one-to-one advice on best practice for their potato stores. It’s a free consultation that will allow levy payers to get up to speed with their individual storage arrangements, to tackle the issues they will encounter following the loss of CIPC,” said Adrian Cunnington, head of Crop Storage Research at AHDB. “Store managers can call upon the expertise of a range of professionally qualified advisors, supported by our own experts, who will visit businesses to talk through the options, assess stores and provide advice on how to mitigate any impact,” Cunnington went on.
A final decision on the future of CIPC is expected this summer. After two committees of member nations were unable to find a majority, the judgment will now return to the EU Commission itself, which originally advised that approval should be withdrawn.
“It is a matter of ‘when’ CIPC goes, not ‘if’ unfortunately. There have also been label changes on alternative products containing Maleic Hydrazide (MH), which could restrict its use. It’s important for growers to consult their customers before applying MH to crops this season,” further explained Cunnington.
He goes on to say that the upcoming period will be particularly difficult when it comes to storing potatoes. That’s why AHDB feels the support from the new Storage Network is going to be needed.