Potatoes in Practice: the UK’s largest potato field event returns to Balruddery Farm

Potatoes in Practice, the UK’s largest field event for potatoes, is set to return to Balruddery Farm in Angus on Thursday 11th August 2022 with a focus on new research and current challenges.

Picture of Potatoes in PracticeSupported by the James Hutton Institute, Agrii UK, SRUC and Potato Review, this event will present current research through seminars along with demonstration plots and field exhibits which will offer the opportunity to discuss issues including sustainability, food security, net-zero, pests and diseases, new varieties, Integrated pest management and current market challenges.

After cancelling the event in 2020 and holding a socially distanced event in 2021, Potatoes in Practice is back in full force, with demonstration plots and field exhibits where the trade can interact and re-connect to discuss issues and a seminar programme which includes the following talks:

  • Professor Lesley Torrance, James Hutton Institute: A world-leading International Potato Innovation Centre. A talk about the Institute’s concept of a centre of excellence to co-construct and translate research and innovations into solutions for the potato industry.
  • Seed Potato Organisation, Introduction to a New Organisation for Seed Potato Growers: A meeting of the new Seed Potato Organisation, an initiative currently in development which aims to support the seed potato sector.
  • Dr Philip Burgess, Scottishpotatoes.org: Bringing “PCN Action Scotland” to Life. This seminar will discuss work funded by a Scottish Government investment of £2.2m in the future sustainability of the Scottish potato sector.
  • Archie Gibson, Mercury Programme Partner: Centre for Agricultural Sustainable Innovation (CASI) Crop Quality Centre for the UK Potato Industry. A discussion about a prospective industry-owned and run quality centre open to all potato growers, whether growing table potatoes or certified seed for export or the home market.

Professor Lesley Torrance, Executive Director of Science at the James Hutton Institute, added: “This year we will be discussing our vision for an International Potato Innovation Centre to fast-track research and innovations that will address the challenges the potato faces from climate change, and the need for sustainable, low carbon production systems. The Centre will work with all stakeholders in the sector to underpin a thriving future potato industry.”

Dr Philip Burgess, Director of Scottishpotatoes.org, said: “Potatoes in Practice is a unique event that brings together the whole potato supply chain into one field and the range of discussions this year will cover everything from geopolitical events to the rooting structures of different varieties.

“Labour, fuel, and fertiliser have rocketed since the last PIP, further challenging both domestic and international supply chains. These changes will have an impact on the choices growers make in growing crops. Just where can new precision technology or advanced varieties reduce production costs to keep the potato competitive?”

The event partners, organisers and exhibitors look forward to welcoming everyone to Potatoes in Practice 2022; register for free at pip.hutton.ac.uk. One NRoSO and five BASIS points are available.