Big names reveal new products and give demonstrations at the British Potato Show

"Everyone involved in the industry goes to the British Potato show," according to Angus-based Allan Seed Potatoes director Alistair Melrose.

"All the major seed houses are there and all the machinery is in one place. Something of interest is on all the time, from seminars to machinery demonstrations. The social life is fantastic, too."

Last time around one in five exhibitors used the event to launch a new product or service and this year promises to be no different.

Doncaster-based engineering firm George Moate (stand 103) will present its TillerStar tractor-mounted tiller and de-stoner, which prepares the bed for planting in a single pass, while Haith (423) will unveil a new design of its Root-veg polisher which boasts improved durability and ease of maintenance.

For the packhouse, Californian manufacturer Odenberg (403) has a new optical sorter, the Halo, which offers both high capacity and high accuracy for specific grading requirements.

Elsewhere, Fischbein of Belgium, will present the latest addition to its Saxon of bagging equipment range in a full demonstration.

Meanwhile, in the outdoor exhibition area, Briggs Irrigation will demonstrate the precision of its R64-2 boom irrigator, while Grimme will show its compact German-manufactured GL 420 Exacta four-row cultivator and planter.

On the crop protection side, Certis will use the show to launch Quickdown, a herbicide and desiccation product, designed for the potato sector, and soil insecticide Mocap.

According to marketing manager Robert Lidstone: "Quickdown can be used as a pre-emergence to early post-emergence herbicide against broadleaf weeds. It is also effective as a pre-harvest desiccant.

"Mocap (ethoprophos) is another newcomer to join our expanding portfolio of potato crop protection solutions, following our announcement as primary distribution partner earlier in the year," added Lidstone.

Show details

When: 23 November, 9am-5.30pm, 24 November, 9am-4pm
Where: Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate, North Yorkshire HG2 8PW
Admission: Free, online pre-registration available
Details: www.potato.org.uk/bp2011 (bp2011.net for exhibitors)

Show seminars Pest and disease update

The threat from pests and diseases is never far from growers' minds. As part of the show seminar programme, nematode specialist Dr Pat Haydock of Harper Adams University College will look at the latest approaches to controlling potato cyst nematode, a soil pest for which there is no known cure.

"You can't eradicate them and they can survive dormant in the soil for 15-20 years," he says. "Once you have them that's it, and two-thirds of potato-growing land is infected."

Twenty years of research at Harper Adams have shown the value of various control strategies, from pesticides to crop rotation to "bio-fumigation" with specific plants, he says. "Growers can use these techniques in a practical way."

He will be followed in the morning and afternoon sessions on both days by the head of UK Potato Quarantine Unit at the Scottish Agricultural Science Agency Colin Jeffries, who will look at current notifiable and emerging diseases.


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