Potato growers given chance to see innovation in action on commercial scale at SPot open day event at Elveden Estate

AHDB Strategic Potato (SPot) farm East host, Elveden Estate, is set to hold its first open day of

AHDB Strategic Potato (SPot) farm East host, Elveden Estate, is set to hold its first open day of the 2017 season on Thursday, July 6. - Credit: AHDB

A full range of cutting-edge demonstrations will be on display at the Elveden Estate next week as it hosts its first Strategic Potato (SPot) open day of the season.

The 22,500 acre Suffolk estate, which lies in the East Anglian Brecks near Thetford, specialises in vegetable production, particularly potatoes, and will host an event on Thursday, July 6.

For the past two years, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Potatoes has been putting on SPot demonstrations showing potato research put into practice.

Elveden was one of the sites chosen for the prestigious event, which demonstrates cutting-edge techniques, which are appropriate to the region and market sector, used on commercial scale.

AHDB Potatoes SPot East knowledge exchange managerTheresa Meadows said: “AHDB Strategic farms harness the proven benefits of ‘farmer to farmer’ learning to accelerate the uptake of knowledge and provide a platform for farmers to explore the potential for new technology and best practice to have an impact on their business, giving them the confidence to implement new ideas on their own farms.”

There are five, carefully selected on-farm demonstrations in total which are part of a three year programme.

Visitors to the Open Day will receive first-hand knowledge from experts from across the industry on a wide range of subjects which influence potato growing.

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Research expert Dr Mark Stalham of NIAB CUF will use his vast knowledge of irrigation requirements to control common scab with minimal resources. He will explore and discuss water requirements, timings and varietal resistance.

Meanwhile Dr Marc Allison will discuss in-season nitrogen requirements and use of the latest technology to track nitrogen movements within the soil profile.

Graeme Tomalin, an agronomist for Vegetable Consultancy Services Ltd (VCS) will discuss results and knowledge exchange manager Dr Phil Burgess will explore the importance of producing the correct crop specification, including tuber size and discuss how essential this is for grower profitability.

If you are interested in attending the open day at the Elveden Estate visit: https://potatoes.ahdb.org.uk/events/spot-farm-east-field-walk