Hot, wet weather provides perfect conditions for common scab trial at Elveden Estate Strategic Potato farm

Elveden Estate is part of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) SPot Farm initia

Elveden Estate is part of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) SPot Farm initiative for potatoes. Andrew Francis, senior farms manager at Elveden, is on the right. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Trials at a Suffolk potato farm are providing valuable insights into disease control as common scab hits crops.

More than 100 growers, agronomists and potato industry specialists were at the Elveden Estate near Thetford earlier this month as it hosted a SPot Farm East Open Day.

Elveden is one of four Strategic Potato (SPot) Farms in the UK run by levy-payers’ group AHDB.

The dry weather and intermittent heavy rainfall has provided the perfect platform for a common scab trial, as the pathogen that causes common scab thrives in hot and dry conditions.

Dr Mark Stalham said: “We have planted 15 different varieties, and even those less susceptible to the disease have shown some disease. This demonstration was planted a week after commercial crops here at Elveden and so we have to take emergence and tuber initiation timings to assess the vulnerability for each variety.”


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