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Hundreds attend Potatoes in Practice 2016

Potatoes in Practice 2016 (c) James Hutton Institute
With a markedly international flavour this year, the event featured speakers from five continents and a large Chinese contingent led by Mr Liang Xisen, chairman of China’s largest potato producer, Xisen Potato Industry Company.

Despite a soggy start to the day, more than 700 farmers, scientists, policymakers and potato industry representatives visited the James Hutton Institute’s Balruddery Farm to take part in Potatoes in Practice 2016 - the largest field-based event in the UK potato industry calendar. Organised and hosted by the James Hutton Institute in partnership with AHDB Potatoes, SRUC (Scotland's Rural College) and Agrii with support by media partner Potato Review, the event brought together variety demonstrations, research and trade exhibits in one place.

With a markedly international flavour, this year's seminars programme featured speakers from five continents who were in Dundee for the European Association for Potato Research 2016 pathology meeting, held on the week of the event. Potatoes in Practice also welcomed a large Chinese contingent led by Mr Liang Xisen, chairman of China’s largest potato producer, Xisen Potato Industry Company. Also present were MPs Chris Law (Dundee West) and Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire).

The Institute’s commercial subsidiary, James Hutton Limited, launched a new suite of molecular diagnostics for free-living nematodes (FLN), a pest responsible for estimated annual losses of more than £100bn to global agriculture in terms of reduced yield, quality and crop management. The new diagnostics have undergone three years of validation and been tested against thousands of soil samples from potato growing areas of the UK. It has also enabled Hutton scientists to potentially identify molecular markers which will facilitate future breeding of new potato varieties with resistance to Tobacco Rattle Virus and to develop strategies for controlling FLN.

Hutton Group experts presented the AHDB-supported Grower Platform project and survey, which aim to support resilient rotations by quantifying links between rotational management and soil physical conditions with gross output, yield stability and economic margins. It is hoped the project will bring together researchers, growers, grower groups and supply chain partners through cloud-based information sharing and existing research and farmer knowledge exchange initiatives.

Likewise, Hutton scientists were on hand to promote a Scottish Government-funded research project that seeks to identify the challenges for, and potential policy tools to improve women’s participation in farming and leadership of the agricultural sector in Scotland. The research will build a picture of women who live and work on farms across Scotland, to provide recommendations to the Scottish Government for policy interventions that support women in farming, and to optimise the economic resource of the family farm.

There was also plenty of press and social media interest, with representatives of Scottish newspapers and trade publications attending the event’s press breakfast and #PotatoesinPractice featuring in UK trending topic lists on Twitter on the day.

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/hundreds-attend-potatoes-practice-2016 on 25/08/19 12:04:22 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.