Study Tour – Scottish Borders

July 2016

A decision then was to plan for a two day study visit to the Scottish Borders in July and this resulted in excellent visits to Peter Shiells at Mertoun Estate and to Greenvale’s store and pack house facilities. Our thanks to Peter and to Dan Parsons, farm manager at Mertoun, for what turned out to be a most interesting and worthwhile visit. Thanks too to Euan Stark and to Niall Arbuckle for their hosting of the visits to the Greenvale sites. Our timing for these visits proved to be impeccable given that many of our participants travelled south through torrential rain before things cleared up for our St Bothwells visit. A visit to the Born in the Borders craft brewery at Kelso gave us an interesting angle on farm diversification and an overnight stay in Kelso allowed some discussions to continue until the small hours.

Study Tour – Denmark 2015

Study Trip to Denmark 2015

A very successful two day trip was made to northern Jutland in Denmark with the help from Danespo and the potato officials from Denmark . The visit included various visits to both high grade seed production units and larger scale commercial units all growing seed potatoes mainly for export to the same countries as Scotland .All pb growers receive mini tubers from the one source that produces them in Denmark (less than 200,000 tubers produced per year)with a small amount imported from Scotland when a demand for a variety increases. There are only 10 pb growers in Denmark and due to the restrictions on only being allowed to produce pb on a farm and not basic seed they are all quite small producers.Chitting trays are still used on the pb1 and pb2 material on some of the units we looked at with storage and ventilation systems on these farms very modern and up to date very similar to those in Scotland. Due to even tighter aphicide restrictions in Denmark the pb1 crops we looked at were all under fleece with all crops produced with a pb certificate there is a compulsory virus test for pvy and leaf roll. Overall it was a very successful trip and we thank everyone for helping organising the visit.

Study Tour – France 2013

Study Visit to Northern France 

26 – 28 June 2013 18 members of the Association participated in a study visit to Northern France over the three days 26 – 28 June 2013. The visit was hosted and organised by staff of the potato company Desmazieres, a sister company of Agrico. The aim of the visit was to look in detail at early generation seed production in the area of Northern France overseen by the Comite Nord, the industry body charged with controlling seed potato production in the area. To read the full report click here