AHDB Horticulture has warned that increasing prices for straw, which are likely to be made worse this winter due to the current weather, are making carrot growers consider alternatives for in-field storage of their crops.
According to the levy body, the estimated costs for the use of straw to cover carrot crops was around £4,000-5,000 per hectare, but straw prices are now an average of 50 per cent higher year-on-year. AHDB has funded practical investigations into viable alternatives to straw, partly because of the volatility in supply and price of straw, but also due to concerns about nitrogen lock-up and weed issues.
Dawn Teverson, AHDB knowledge exchange manager, comments, “All of the treatments tested provided effective frost protection during the winter so the viability of alternatives for field storage will depend upon cost and how practical they are to use. Straw alternatives such as cellulose fibre and closed cell polythene foam may be useful alternatives but growers will need to evaluate the cost-benefit against straw prices.”
Results from the research showed that growers wishing to reduce straw usage could consider moving to polythene over straw in order to use one-third of the normal amount of straw. This would require some modifications to existing straw-laying machinery but could save around £2,000 per hectare.
Photo Credit: Gary Rogers, Geography
The post Carrot growers look to straw alternatives appeared first on Hort News on 23 July 2018.
AHDB’s Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research has announced the launch of a new potato storage service called VarietyCheck for the forthcoming season.
AHDB point out that, “With new regulations on acrylamide and fewer sprout suppressants it is more important than ever to get the right storage conditions for your variety of choice.” The new service will be tailored to crop variety and dormancy, as well as end use.
For example, for processing crops using a variety with long dormancy and the ability to store at lower temperature without sweetening is beneficial. For fresh market packing varieties, maintaining appearance and avoiding blackheart are high priorities.
AHDB says that VarietyCheck will use established methods to objectively assess grower’s new varieties or potato stocks under defined and accurately controlled storage conditions with processing or fresh pack storage options. The service will cost £1,250 (excluding VAT) per variety/stock for the first stock, with discounts available for multiple submissions.
Photo Credit: AHDB Potatoes
The post AHDB Sutton Bridge launches VarietyCheck service appeared first on Hort News on 26 April 2018.
Norfolk-based E F Harrold Ltd of Oulton, near Aylsham, has applied for planning permission to build a new 2,200 tonne potato box store according to the Eastern Daily Press.
The development at street farm would include an open loading canopy, an office and machinery store.
A design and access statement presented to Broadland District Council as part of the application says: ‘The business has limited potato storage of its own… Moving all of potatoes directly off the farm at harvest time is a logistical problem, a very inefficient use of labour, due to the sporadic nature of harvest; and with its intensive nature, an intensive use of the local road network.’
Photo Caption: Harvesting potatoes at E F Harrold
Photo Credit: Ben Burgess / Twitter
The post Aylsham potato grower to build new store appeared first on Hort News on 18 April 2018.