Mark Bullen of Syngenta told visitors to the event in Harrogate that trials have shown the company's new potato seed treatment, fludioxonil, can provide more effective single-treatment control of a broad spectrum of seed-borne skin diseases, including Rhizoctionia Back Scurf, Black Dot and Silver Scurf.
Furthermore, trials by the Scottish Agricultural College and others had identified beneficial activity on common scab.
Caused by the soil microorganism Streptomyces scabies, infection causes characteristic corky scabs on the skin surface, which significantly reduces the value and marketable yield of crops.
In extreme cases the entire tuber surface can be covered. One of the UK's most widely grown pre-pack varieties, Maris Piper, has proven especially susceptible.
The seed treatment has been submitted to the Chemicals Regulation Directorate for approval.