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What do I get for my levy?

Our strategy is set in consultation with you, through the AHDB Potatoes Board.

We encourage you to take a closer look at our activities and work out how they can contribute to your bottom line.

We've recently expanded our Knowledge Exchange (KE) team, please contact your local KE Manager if you have any questions about what we do.

You may be visiting this page of our website as you have received your planting return letter. It is a statutory obligation that you return your form and payment on-time. As per previous years, the completed return is due back on or before the 1st June and payment is due on or before 1st December.

We have upgraded and improved the online planting returns system. Please click on this link to access the portal: https://levyportal.ahdb.org.uk/Account/PotatoGrowerMigration

Need support with the planting returns portal?

Please contact:

For Northern Scotland and the East of England - Mark Colmer mark.colmer@ahdb.org.uk   07831 319774

For Southern Scotland, Western England and Wales - David Want  david.want@ahdb.org.uk 07812 658119

Highlights

Sprout suppression and storage advice

Potato store managers will be able to call on information and support from an £800,000 fund ring-fenced fund for sprout suppression and storage advice as we move into the first season without CIPC. Here’s how we're helping you answer some of the key questions:

You can find all this and more on our Potato Storage Hub


Marketing

In response to the effect of the coronavirus we have released plans for an extended consumer marketing campaign, and a portal to help put the growers and buyers of potatoes in touch.

“Our lovepotatoes.co.uk website has been sharing recipes and ‘how-to’ tips with consumers since 2015. In that time we’ve had over five million likes and shares over social media channels, and seven million page visits. And we can see that ramping up recently, with a 54 per cent daily increase since the start of March,” said Nicola Dodd, Marketing Manager at AHDB.

“A recent post on how to store potatoes at home was liked and shared over 10,000 times on Facebook and Instagram as people looked at ways of keeping lockdown stockpiles fresh. Our campaign is based on reminding consumers of the versatility and value of potatoes, and how they can be incorporated in many dishes, both traditional and contemporary.”

We are increasing consumer marketing activity for the year ahead, with a lockdown boost through social media, advertising, promotion via catch-up TV and activity within retail outlets.

The promotion will be fronted by 'Bud the Spud' the star of our hugely successful Potatoes: More than a Bit on the Side campaign. It was launched in July 2015 and ran until the end of 2018 in conjunction with Bord Bia, with the aim of re-engaging younger consumers with the potato; demonstrating its health and nutritional virtues; as well as showing modern and contemporary ways in which they can be used to fit in with today’s busy lifestyles. It was successful:

  • Consumption figures for fresh potatoes have showed an increase of 3% between 2015 and 2018 (Kantar WorldPanel 52 weeks to end November 2018)
  • 5 million web visits
  • 3 million YouTube views
  • a reach of over 1 million across social media

Ordinary food is good enough

This campaign launched in January 2020.

With so many mixed messages in the media about food, nutrition and diets, it is easy to get confused and follow guidance from unqualified sources. 

These messages are magnified through social media and can have damaging effects on our physical and mental welfare. Many of us strive to look like others or follow extreme diets which often aren’t realistic and can instead have detrimental effects on health due to a lack of key nutrients.


Fast and accurate Market Information

During the Coronavirus pandemic we have ensured that you have the latest information as markets change rapidly. This includes:


Strategic Potato Farms

Designed for and by growers and agronomists – SPot Farms allow you to share ideas with each other and with researchers in a commercial farm environment. Over 80% of attendees last year found something they can do differently back on the home-farm.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we do not currently have any on farm events planned.

But you can view past results and findings form SPot farms here

Including the latest thinking on desiccation without diquat and presentations on a whole host of other subjects.

We'll soon be releasing dates for a summer webinar programme, you can find details at ahdb.org.uk/events


Disease intelligence and crop protection

Whether it’s blight, PCN or aphids and virus, you’ll find regular updates on pest and disease pressure through the summer supported by the latest thinking in management and control options.

In 2017, blight scouts who contribute to the Fight Against Blight, played a vital part in monitoring the spread of the blight strain EU_37 (aka ​'Dark green 37'), which was confirmed as insensitive to fluazinam. The fight continues, and last year we agreed to fund blight strain results in-season so that you know what you're dealing with in real-time. Our site contains weather alerts, blight monitoring and the opportunity to sign-up as a blight scout.

Aphid and virus

In 2019 we conducted a research review into the main causes of virus in potatoes in response to a call from growers and stakeholder organisations like the NFU.

View the latest information on aphid and virus

Agronomy Knowledge Library highlights

3 May 2020

Find out which are the most efficient herbicides and application methods for weed control management in potatoes

5 November 2018

Late blight remains the single most important potato disease, costing the industry an estimated £50M annually in crop protection chemicals in a typical blight pressure season.

16 March 2020

What we know about potato virus and how to monitor and manage aphids

19 February 2020

An IPM approach is required to deal with this persistent pest


Farmbench

Unearth your strengths. Farmbench helps you to understand and compare your full costs of production. Input either whole-farm or just your potato costs to suit your needs.


Brexit

AHDB is committed to producing up-to-the minute reports on how Brexit might affect GB agriculture. Our analysis in the Horizon series is created to benefit you. Access it via our website, where there is also an impact calculator and the facility to ask our Brexit team questions, or in the trade and national media.


Exports

Our market development team continue to work on keeping existing markets going while opening up new ones. Last year we visited Egypt, with partners from Scottish Government and received assurances from the Egyptian Government that legislation was in place to allow the continued supply of British seed potatoes post-Brexit.

Want to know more?

Contact your local member of our newly expanded KE team here.

As well as tools and services aimed at helping you and your business, the levy funds research projects that are vital to the industry, for example our work on new blight strains and alternative sprout suppressants. You can see a review of all the research projects currently funded by your levy here.