2 August 2002

Potato rental check advised

POTATO growers renting land should check the small print of their agreements for good husbandry clauses, advises farm consultancy firm Strutt & Parker.

Landowners are including clauses in short-term rental arrangements specifying that growers should control problems such as volunteer potatoes.

They need to ensure they are not left footing the bill of controlling the problem in subsequent years, says Will Gemmill.

"Carryover of PCN and blight from unharvested potatoes can affect future rental value by as much as £593/ha (£240/acre).

"Populations [of volunteer potatoes] as low as 1/sq m reduce sugar beet yields by 3t/ha, while harbouring PCN and blight.

"It is important the problem is removed as early as possible." &#42