More than 250 visitors saw 10 new varieties unveiled at the Whole Crop Marketing (WCM) annual trials day, held in partnership with the AHDB at Hunsdale Farm, South Cave.
Amongst the new varieties on display were: Harry, an early maincrop round variety from Cullen Allen with a light yellow flesh and white skin colour; 7four7, a long oval variety, with light yellow skin and creamy white flesh intended for the pre-pack market; Sensation from Clonal and Clonal with a round/oval shape and yellow skin and flesh; Allison, a high yield fresh/baker maincrop from HZPC with a long oval shape, yellow skin colour and cream flesh intended for the retail market; Acoustic, a high-yield round oval organic table early maincrop with yellow skin and cream flesh; Punchy, a high tuber yield crisp variety with yellow flesh and skin; Rossini, a medium early round oval yellow variety with a moderate tuber yield intended for the crisping market; Titan, a light yellow round oval crisping variety; Corsica, a round/oval maincrop from Agrico with a yellow skin colour and pale yellow flesh colour intended for the crisp processing market, and Daisy, a second early long oval variety with yellow skin colour and pale yellow flesh intended for the French fries and multi market.
The event featured farm standard zones, commercial crisping trials, small plot variety trials and a biodiversity trial, alongside trade demonstrations and stands.
Breeders taking part included HZPC, CCC, Agrico, Cullen Allen, Meijer, IPM, Solana, Perran Potatoes, Germicopa and Grampian Growers and those with trade stands included Wellvent, Wroot Water, Stored Crops, Standen, Yorkshire & Humber, Omex and Muddy Boots.
AHDB seminars took place during the day and were well attended. Head of the Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research, Adrian Cunnington, spoke about sprout suppression and recent work by AHDB to support growers following the regulatory changes to key activities. Head of AHDB’s Strategic Insight Team, David Swales, discussed how Brexit will impact on the potato industry, and Senior Plant Health and Seeds Inspector at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (AaPHA), Lynne Bradley, spoke about the Seed Potato Classification Scheme (SPCS).
The ethos of Whole Crop Marketing Limited revolves around growers collaborating to market their produce. Ten members established the group in 2008.
WCM Managing Director Mark Tomlinson said the trials day, now in its ninth year, was an “outstanding success”.
“Collaboration and support between the seed houses, AHDB and WCM brought forward important information and advice for growers and customers,” he said. “It’s vital that we explore new varieties and innovations to meet the growing challenges the industry faces in today’s market.”
He said there had been “a fantastic response” from everyone who attended the trade, stall holders and visiting farmers to the event.
“It was a huge effort from all the WCM team to stage such an event and this year it was enhanced by a working harvester demonstration, more machinery stands and an increased area of new variety trials. Having the AHDB attend with a programme of seminars on relevant potato topics also made the whole day a very worthwhile exercise and we had around 300 visitors for the day.”