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Michael Barker

BY MICHAEL BARKER

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AHDB calls for new SPot farm

Volunteers in the West Midlands wanted to host trials and help agronomists build knowledge for the industry's benefit

AHDB calls for new SPot farm

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The AHDB is looking for its next Strategic Potato (SPot) farm in the West Midlands.

The current project, based at Heal Farms in Shropshire, will come to a close in April 2020, and the levy body is aiming to have a  new farm in place by autumn of this year.

AHDB knowledge exchange manager Bill Watts explains: “Over the last three years, AHDB has built a body of work at SPot West that has helped growers, agronomists and potato industry experts extend their knowledge and understanding in some key subject areas.

“Focusing on PCN, we have investigated variety resistance and tolerance of new varieties, chemical and novel PCN management methods and application techniques, and crop nutrition under PCN pressure. We have made some really encouraging progress in these areas, in addition to others.”

“AHDB is now looking to build on this success and work alongside somebody who is open to helping everybody in the area by putting research into practice on their own farm.”

According to AHDB, growers interested in hosting a strategic farm should be able to answer yes to the following three questions: Do you like working with other growers in your region?; Would you be happy to invite researchers to your farm and try out some of the latest thinking?; and are you looking to make positive changes to your business?

The selected host farm will use plots in their potato fields to run demonstrations which they will then discuss with other local growers, agronomists and industry reps at a series of open days.

Anyone interested in a taster can attend the final Open Day at Heal Farms, which takes place on Thursday 11 July. 

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