Best New Variety Vegetable/Salad - Winner: Performer, Agrico UK

Agrico UK has developed a chipping and processing potato variety, Performer, that is resistant to potato cyst nematode (PCN), a serious crop pest particularly in the UK, where it costs millions of pounds a year in lost yield. Performer even cleans infected soils, offering a solution for long-term sustainable farming.

Best New Variety Vegetable/Salad - Winner: Performer, Agrico UK
Best New Variety Vegetable/Salad - Winner: Performer, Agrico UK

There are two PCN species, Globodera rostochiensis and G. pallida, and while many potato varieties are now resistant to the former it is the latter that has become widespread in the UK, causing damage ranging from slight yield loss and growth impediment up to complete crop failure.

Current control measures rely on crop rotation, the use of chemical treatments, trap cropping and the selection of resistant potato varieties, and most growers use a combination of these approaches. However, with crop-protection chemicals under ever-greater scrutiny, varieties with inbuilt resistance are becoming increasingly important.

Performer produces high yields in G. pallida-infested soils even without chemical treatment, allowing them to be grown in fields where other potato varieties cannot, which may be available at reduced rental costs for this reason. The grower, the soil and the environment all benefit, as Agrico has shown via independently assessed trials carried out over the past five years.

Marketable yield is very high with low wastage, commonly producing in excess of 50 tonnes per hectare, and is well suited to late-season production and long-term storage. With its large size, long oval shape, shallow eyes and pale-yellow flesh, Performer is an ideal chipper and is gaining popularity in the fish and chip shop market in particular.

Finalist

Egg & Chips Plant, Thompson & Morgan

SEE ALL 2017 UK GROWER AWARDS WINNERS


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