The SPot Farm trials taking place this year have been announced

Thursday, 4 March 2021

The 2021 trials will cover a wide variety of issues looking at disease management, crop protection and storage. In this article you can find a full list of the trials taking place across the Strategic Potato Farms network this year:

Strategic Potato Farm Scotland 

Host farmer: Milton of Mathers farm

Location: St Cyrus, Angus 

AHDB Contact: Claire Hodge

2021 Trials:

  • PCN management practices
  • IPM strategies to minimise virus risk in seed crops
  • Aphid virus control - aphid activity will be measured and levels of virus in following crops monitored
  • Using flower strips for inter cropping - creating corridors to increase biodiversity which is useful for later season infection
  • Mulching – using straw to reduce the contrast between the crop and soil to reduce the likelihood of attracting aphids to the field

Strategic Potato Farm North

Host farmers: RJ and AE Godfrey

Location: North Lincolnshire

AHDB Contact: Amber Barton

2021 Trials: 

  • Cultivations: Comparing primary and secondary cultivation depths, speeds and equipment.
  • Seed handling: Part of a longer-term project that will help to identify the specific areas that effect the potential of a seed crop. This aspect is focussed on the handling of the seed prior to planting.
  • Dormancy and determinacy: More varieties to be tested to help expand the bank of knowledge
  • Soil moisture monitoring and irrigation scheduling: Building on recent irrigation work we will be looking at the technology available to get the most out of every valuable drop of water at your disposal.
  • Haulm pulling for desiccation 

Strategic Potato Farm West

Host farmer: Gatley Farms

Location: Leominster - Herefordshire

AHDB Contact: Alex Wade

2021 Trials:

  • Cover crops: Comparing a range of cover crops to establish whether cover crops increase slug or FLN populations
  • Soil erosion: Comparing different machinery practices to decrease soil erosion
  • Late blight: The steering group discussed spore trapping and exploring the different models available. Weather based decision support tools will be followed over the season
  • Dormancy and Determinacy: More varieties to be tested to help expand the bank of knowledge
  • Maleic Hydrazide: Varieties to be tested for MH residues following a number of different in field treatments

Strategic Potato Farm East

Host farmer: James Foskett Farms Ltd

Location: Suffolk

AHDB Contact: David Wilson 

2021 Trials:

  • Virus: investigating companion crops and the benefit of adding oils
  • Wireworm: controlling wireworm without Mocap
  • PCN: variety screen looking at resistance and tolerance to PCN
  • Late blight: - spore trapping
  • Soils and compaction: - assessing how to minimise the impact of early crops 


Useful links:

2020 Trials results