HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR READERS
No. 1/23 SUBSCRIBER EDITION: please go to potatostorageinsight.com/subscribe to sign up
Welcome to Synopsis, Potato Storage Insight's monthly publication bringing you news, technical information and developments on potato storage issues.
This issue celebrates our first birthday; amazingly, PSI has been up and running for a full twelve months and it is an appropriate time to thank all of those organisations and individuals across the industry who have engaged with Adrian across the past year. It has been hugely appreciated and we are eager to see how PSI can move forward and continue to support as many of your businesses as possible during 2023.
PSI Potato Store Managers' Course '23: LAST CHANCE FOR EARLY BIRDS!
Our popular potato store managers' training course is a good place to start. This comprehensive training opportunity is offered each year with a discount for delegates who book early. This year's early bird rates expire next Monday, 23rd January, at 11.59 pm.
The PSI Potato Store Managers' Course for 2023 will be held on Wednesday 15 & Thursday 16 March 2023 at the Weston Hall Hotel, Bulkington, near Coventry. The venue has easy access from the M1, M6 and M69 motorways and is just a short drive from Birmingham airport (BHX).
The early-bird prices for the course (£390* non-residential, £455* residential) were held at the same level as 2021, so please book now to benefit from two-days' intensive training at such a great price. At just £65* more than the 'non-res' rate, the residential package is particularly recommended and includes full dinner, bed and breakfast. But be quick to secure a spot at this price.
Tutors for the course will again be Adrian Cunnington and Glyn Harper, both formerly of Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research, who between them have over 50 years' experience of potato storage research, training and knowledge transfer.
The course is aimed at growers and store managers who are involved in the day-to-day management of potato stores. The course follows a tried and tested format and will include talks, group discussions and practical interactive sessions, focusing on all aspects of potato storage. There will be opportunity for delegates to raise specific concerns and for these to be addressed during the course on a 1:1 or group basis. Delegate numbers are limited to 20, so please book now to guarantee a place. Areas covered will include:
Store management principles
Storage buildings and control systems
Basic physiology for storage
Store hygiene and disease control
Maintaining skin finish for pre‑packing
Drying, wound healing & pull-down
Managing processing crop quality
Sprout suppression options post-CIPC
Energy efficiency & cost control
Seed store management
Store loading strategies
Practical store operation
Quality control and protocols
Health & safety
An electronic booking form and full details are available on the PSI website. Click here to open the booking form in a new window.
FLEDGLING ORGANISATIONS SEEKING YOUR SUPPORT
Two organisations looking to offer support for the industry and representation to Government are seeking your backing to allow them to get work underway.
GB Potatoes and the seed-specific Seed Potato Organisation (SPO) both need more subscribers from producers, packers, processors, merchants, agronomists and traders across the potato sector to be able to secure adequate funds to start their respective journeys.
Without sufficient funding for the bodies to 'get off the ground', it will be impossible for them to offer those key central support services previously provided, in the main, by AHDB. Both have put forward 'lean' business models with a high level of grower involvement and focused delivery of services to represent the industry at Government level. This will allow them to carry out key roles such as reputational management, facilitating access to agrochemicals and targeted research and providing information support.
PSI is keen to see both organisations succeed. The industry can benefit enormously from co-ordinated action and cohesive policies rather than a fragmented approach to business. Gaining commitment from industry is a key step now. It's not really possible to sit back and wait to 'see how it goes'. Without adequate support over the coming weeks, both will fail. So please read their proposals and give them your assistance to help them steer us through these troubled times. What is there to lose?
RECENT PSI ACTIVITY
Last month, Adrian Cunnington was at the CUPGRA conference, contributing to the workshop session alongside Sarah Roberts of NIAB CUF, to get delegates thinking about strategies that could be adopted to reduce store running costs. We thank all those who put forward their thoughts to fuel the debate about the best way forward. Undoubtedly, getting a handle on current storage costs remains the most important starting point with too many producers having a good handle on production numbers but little or no awareness of how much it is costing them to store.
All the experts agree it is a key first step to measure your electricity use. Once you're armed with that data, you will be motivated to better understand how your business uses energy and to learn what steps you can take to do something about it.
This thread of conversation was also a key one in a recent visit to the north of Scotland to carry out some store audits and help high grade seed growers on the Black Isle and environs review and better understand their storage performance. One specific topic we discussed was the merits of using a generator to run stores as outlined in Synopsis last September.
The producers using the one pictured below were looking to save around 10p on each and every kilowatt as a result of switching to diesel.