Tuesday, 9 February 2016

VIDEO: Seed - size, variety, age and spacing

What are all the factors to take into account before determining seed rates? How can we devise a seed rate recommendation for a new variety?

“Most commercial seed is planted too close together, reducing marketable yield and it is actually better to have some seed left over at the end of planting than to make the full amount ‘fit’,” cautions Dr Stalham.

The full film introduces AHDB's new system for devising seed rate recommendations for newly introduced varieties. 

Watch it here.

Monday, 8 February 2016

VIDEO: Cultivation strategies

Are soils potentially being overworked? What’s the optimum depth for cultivation?

Potato cultivation is highly equipment, labour and energy consumptive, so the SPot farm sought to understand more about why the potato industry cultivates soil so intensively.

Findings from the 3 year AHDB Potatoes sponsored work, showed that when it comes to bed-forming and tilling, this can come noticeably shallower and actually maintain yield and quality whilst saving costs and improving work rates. 

The best approach for growers is a gradual move towards working shallower on their own soils” recommends Dr Mark Stalham, Research Scientist at NIAB CUF.
“Doing some controlled strips and coming up an inch in depth every year should lead to growers finding their own optimum.”

We will continue to demonstrate cultivation best practice in future years at Spot on different soil types, but for now, you can watch the full film here!

(For the background, see RESEARCHPROJECT: R459)

SPot farm on film!

NEW VIDEOS: AHDB Potatoes Strategic Potato (SPot) farm on film!

Showing real value from making change.

Explore SPot in comfort, in under 10 minutes, and with a well-earned cup of tea (if you like)…

AHDB Potatoes’ first Strategic Potato (SPot) Farm, introduced in spring 2015, is a demonstration of the latest, independent best practice in a real, operational commercial setting.
Wherever you’re based, you can tap into the results and best practice advice arising from our Staffordshire SPot Farm.

We’ve brought the farm and our findings to you with a suite of new technical videos summarising the research behind the in-field demonstrations and highlighting some of the key observations from the season.
Even if you did attend a farm walk, or joined us at an open day, with so much going on at the time, you can use these online resources to revisit the main messages in under 10 minutes.

Launched at our Winter Forums just gone, the videos provide an easy-access opportunity to explore, question and discuss the findings from the wide ranging technical demonstrations implemented this past growing season by our hosts W B Daw & Son.

Over the coming months, we’ll be pointing out the pertinent highlights surrounding the potato industry’s key seasonal considerations and first up is soils and seed. 

Hannah Goodwin, AHDB Potatoes Technical Executive
Hannah.Goodwin@ahdb.org.uk, T: 024 7647 8840, M: 07813 540 744


WATCH: We’ll be sure to prompt you as timely topics arise from the work on our SPot farm, but if you’re eager for more, we’ve already published the full suite of videos
ATTEND: There’ll also be ample opportunity to attend the location itself over the coming season, and you can register your advance interest to be sure you hear when our next Open Day or walk is set.

RESEARCH: The work at SPot builds on a wealth of previous AHDB Potatoes research always accessible at: potatoes.ahdb.org.uk. Visit the library to access best-practice guides, review seed rate recommendations, and access tools and calculators that can enhance the profitability of potato businesses.