Scottish site for latest AHDB Strategic Potato Farm

A Perthshire farm has been named as the latest AHDB Strategic Potato (SPot) Farm, as part of a project helping growers to examine and discuss new techniques and research.

Kerr Howatson - image:Bruce Farms
Kerr Howatson - image:Bruce Farms

Bruce Farms, based near the village of Meigle, will host the project for three years covering the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons, with open days, farm walks and tailored group visits in each season. The project is co-funded by the Scottish Government.

AHDB Potatoes knowledge transfer manager Claire Hodge said: "Scottish growers will have the opportunity to engage with the project and help shape the development ideas and techniques over these three seasons."

This year will see a soft launch at the farm, with a simple comparison of different primary and secondary cultivation techniques of bed tilling and stone separating across a 24-hectare field with the help of precision farming data, and a farm open day on 12 July.

Bruce Farms grows over 270ha of potatoes, alongside cereals, soft fruit, peas and beans, and is home to a pedigree cattle enterprise.

Its potato manager Kerr Howatson said of the initiative: "It will be an extremely interesting opportunity to apply science to our commercial decision making process, challenge conventional working practices and bridge the gap between proven research and farm practice."

In addition to Bruce Farms, AHDB SPot farms have now been established at WB Daw & Son in Staffordshire and at Eleveden Farms in Suffolk.

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