Arable

GB potato seed supply on track despite wet weather

Saturday 27 October 2012 06:00
Potato harvest

There should be no interruption to the seed supply this year, despite the challenging potato growing season, according to the Potato Council.

Rob Burns, head of seed and export at the Potato Council, says: "This season has been a particularly challenging one, but early indications are that there should be sufficient GB-grown seed to satisfy our export and domestic requirements."

However, in a year like this one, where waterlogged fields may lead to high levels of rots and other diseases, it is vital that seed is looked after properly, says Mr Burns.

"The harvest is only the start of quality seed and there is a lot that can be done to maximise its quality prior to storage."

He says that rapid drying and refrigeration can reduce the levels of bacteria responsible for rots. Best-practice handling can ensure that the quality of the seed is preserved through to the planting season.

"Using GB-sourced seed is the only way to ensure that our national crop remains free of the potentially devastating diseases brown rot and ring rot, which are endemic to parts of mainland Europe.

"Safe Haven-assured seed is produced exclusively from GB stock and growers should ask for it wherever possible," adds Mr Burns.

Richard Allison on G+

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