Tuesday, 23 October 2018



British Potato 2017 is an occasion for launching and introducing working tools for growers. The event takes place in Yorkshire Event Center, Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, UK, during November 22-23.

For example, Fera, an international center for interdisciplinary in investigation and problem solving across plant and bee health, will present a new in-field diagnostic tool for potato nematodes.

On the other hand, AHDB Potatoes will launch a tool which allows growers and those in the supply chain to examine data on price, variety, planted area, market sector and yield.

Diagnostic Tool for Nematodes

Senior nematologist Tom Prior will discuss Fera's new in-field diagnostic tool, scheduled to be launched in 2018, which is able to rapidly identify root-knot nematodes from plant material, in addition to soil analysis service, at British Potato on November 22, at 11.45.

Fera offers a unique free-living nematode analysis service that provides identification to species level, as part of the UK’s largest Plant Clinic. With Plant-Parasitic Nematodes (PPNs) being responsible for GBP48bn worth of crop damage per year worldwide, effective management of plant-parasitic nematodes is essential, according to BP2017 organizers.

Tom Prior’s presentation at BP2017 will approach topics as:

  • How root-knot nematodes and free-living nematodes can stunt growth, leave plants more susceptible to other pathogens and ultimately reduce crop yields by up to 80%.
  • How plant-parasitic nematodes induce symptoms on above-ground plant parts which could be assumed to be a nutritional deficiency, disease or even a lack of water, meaning many infestations can go unrecorded and allow serious problems to develop over time.
  • How Fera’s nematode identification service, which is able to confirm the identity of nematode species within the field population, allows appropriate management practices to be identified and introduced. A nematode sample analysis through Fera will accurately identify the species of nematodes in the soil, preventing misidentifications which can cost up to GBP125/h of unnecessary soil treatments.
  • How international recognition of Fera’s expertise in nematology has led to a new collaboration with The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research to develop and validate a process for diagnosis of plant-parasitic nematodes from soil on a large scale. The contract, which was won in a competitive tender process against New Zealand labs, will involve Fera delivering a cost-effective, rapid method of detecting the highest level of nematode specimens from large volumes of soil substrates (5-10kg as opposed to typical samples 200g – 1kg).

Fera’s Nematode Sample Analysis service is a part of its new “Integrated Crop Management” service for farmers, growers and agronomists, helping them to increase yields whilst reducing costs. The service offers farmers and agronomists a full package including Pathogen Diagnostics, Insect Monitoring, Nematode Testing and Soil Testing.

Potato Data Center from AHDB

AHDB Potatoes will launch Potato Data Center (PDC) at BP2017. The tool, which allows growers and those in the supply chain to examine data on price, variety, planted area, market sector and yield, will be available on the AHDB stand at the popular ‘soil to shelf’ event.

PDC comes as prices hit a three-year low due to a 4% increase in planted area combined with reportedly above-average yields.

Rob Clayton, strategy director at AHDB Potatoes, said: “The good news is that as growers and retailers continue to work closer together, a higher percentage of growers supply potatoes on contract, at a pre-agreed price, so for many high yields mean contracts are filled.”

The data on PDC comes from AHDB’s annual levy return forms, as well as price information from weekly calls to growers and purchasers made by members of a recently expanded team. Access to information captured on levy forms puts AHDB in an exclusive position to provide this free service.

Dr. Clayton said: “Information is presented in comparative and interactive graphs. Users will be able to pull in data on the variety and market sector relevant to them, and then compare that data to that of previous seasons to identify trends. This is a real game-changer for growers and the supply chain.”

Michael Welham, of Strutt and Park Farms Ltd, said: “As a business, we have been using AHDB’s market and pricing information for a number of years. Their access to industry data and independent position makes the information they provide uniquely impartial.”

AHDB will publish a yield figure at the end of November, as lifting completes in Scotland and Yorkshire. Dr. Clayton added: “By BP2017 we will have a good picture of market conditions for the season and we invite everyone to come and examine the data and discuss the market, as well as what we can offer with our team.”  

Related articles: 

British Potato 2017 Event Plots UK Role after Brexit 

British Potato Producer Builds Potato Store in Marsham 

Nominations Open for British Potato Industry Awards

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