The annual SAC Association of Potato Producers (SACAPP) Conference,
due to be held at St Johnstone FC Football Ground, Perth on 30
January, goes from strength to strength. Now in its 8th year, this
is the only major annual potato conference held in Scotland. Free
to members of SACAPP, the conference is also open to non-members.
Organised by SAC potato expert, Stuart Wale, the conference
has attracted a stimulating array of speakers: Tim Papworth
of LF Papworth Ltd, a progressive ware producer will explain
how he produces perfect potatoes and will go into the current
issues that he faces. John Elphinstone of CSL will be unraveling
the complexity of common scab, focusing on the work of
the LINK project which is just completing its second year.
Ruaridh Bain of SAC will be looking at the lessons which
can be learned from the 2007 blight epidemic and the fungicide
choice for 2008 and Mark Taylor of SCRI will be discussing
a recent project undertaken by the Institute which studied
flavour and genetics behind it.
This will be followed by a tasting session of potential
new salad varieties supplied by Scottish breeders. The
afternoon sessions will consist of workshops and further
presentations. Ware growers will have the opportunity to
examine physiological changes in potatoes; what causes
them and how they can be controlled with Dr Peter Harkett
of McCain Potatoes. The alternative session for seed growers
will look at seed production and keeping virus levels low.
This session will be led by Stuart Carnegie and John Pickup
A technical session will provide brief presentations of
technical summaries with strong take home messages for
future production, all based on research and experience
generated within SAC. Subjects covered include the possible
effects of living nematodes on potato growth, life without
paraquat an overview of the application of tuber fungicides
to seed and PTMV and spraing.
Finally Alan Renwick of SAC’s Rural Policy Centre
will discuss how changes in climate will affect potato
production in the future.
Stuart Wale says,
‘This conference is aimed at growers and more than
half of the audiences are producers. Thus the success of
the conference has been that we cover relevant issues and
provide strong take home messages. A focus on new varieties
will show just how important they will be to future success
of the industry’
The conference is free to members of SACAPP, but non-members
are also welcome on payment of the delegate fee which is, £50
+ VAT to non-SACAPP growers and £100 + VAT to agronomists
and the potato trade. This includes refreshments and lunch.
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