Thursday, 28 July 2016

The whole system approach to chitting maincrop at SPot Farm West 2016

The decision to compare chitted versus unchitted seed, in Markies and Pentland Dell, developed from a conversation between James Daw and Matt Smallwood of McCain Foods last year.

James and Matt saw chitting as offering some insurance against bad weather. 

If spring is late or autumn early, especially in relatively clayey soils, late maturing varieties are likely to be harvested in difficult conditions. 

All varieties of course have their own characteristics and respond in different ways to production processes. 

For these varieties, some considerations in particular are that Markies require a long bulking period (>120 days), followed by skin setting, and Pentland Dell can’t be planted into cold seed beds to protect against little potato disorder. 

So marketable yields in both these varieties may potentially be reduced by a relatively short growing season, making them well-suited to test potential benefits from chitting.

James Daw was also hoping to increase total yield beyond what could be achieved from unchitted seed even if the season proved to be a good long one.

Our understanding of chitting 

The principles of chitting have been understood for many years. 

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Your feedback on a successful 'SPot Farm Super Tuesday' in the sunshine in Staffordshire

We've reached the end of our series of SPot Farm 'Super Tuesdays' this month culminating with the Open Day at SPot Farm West in Staffordshire. 

The event took place in the blazing sun on Tuesday 19 July with presentations at six field-based demonstrations sites and two topics indoors under some much-welcomed shelter.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

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SPot Farm East 'Super Tuesday' Success! A summary of the Open Day...

Hi there, thanks for popping in!

All back home safe and sound, from SPot Farm East's flagship Open Day at Elveden Estates.

Well, that went well, didn’t it?!? Much relieved that you liked the demonstrations and trials too!

Lord Iveagh (pictured - right), owner of the estate popped in to say a few words and wish us well, which was lovely. 

Andrew Francis, Senior Farms Manager (also pictured - left) & Phil Burgess, Head of Knowledge Exchange for AHDB Potatoes, opened proceedings explaining how the Estate operates, the SPot Farm concept and why Elveden Estates, AHDB Potatoes and the Greater Peterborough, Greater Cambridgeshire Local Enterprise Partnership are collaborating to deliver this innovative concept. 
Then it was off to the field in buses to see the trials and demonstrations!