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PSI Bulletin: Mar 23

No. 3/23 SUBSCRIBER EDITION: please go to to sign up

Welcome to the March edition of Synopsis, Potato Storage Insight's monthly publication bringing you news, technical information and developments on potato storage issues.

Sorry we are a bit late this month; we had a busy time last week...

In this month's Technical Insight, we feature senescent sweetening


Lately, we have been busy organising and running the PSI Potato Store Managers' Training Course. The 2 day training event was held at the Weston Hall Hotel near Coventry. It attracted a good turnout of growers, store managers and other interested industry players, including three international delegates from Brazil, Canada and the USA.

Glyn Harper tutoring at the PSI Potato Store Managers' Course

Thanks to all who supported the event. The next two day residential course will be held in early 2024.

Those interested can join the waiting list for information or explore other customised training options by calling Adrian on 07970 072260 or emailing

BEST PRACTICE for March/April

Store unloading

When it comes to unloading stores, it is important to realise that the same rules really apply as when the store is being filled. That is that the systems in the store will be compromised and not very efficient during the period the store is part full. It is therefore just as relevant to get crops out of the store quickly as it is to fill it promptly.

This can be tricky in some circumstances, especially if the market being supplied is looking for small tonnages on a regular basis. In these situations having a mechanism to take control of the store airflow and to prevent short-circuiting can be crucial.

Once again, bulk stores are relatively easy to deal with because as the store is emptied it is usually possible to close off lateral ducts and to only deliver air to the parts of the store that are still full.

In a box store, this can be a completely different challenge to have to deal with. Isolated stacks of boxes will not be readily ventilated as there is no way to force air through the pallet slots and these can then quickly become prone to condensation if air is able to short-circuit around them.

A plenum, as described in our January Technical Insight, is an excellent way of doing this but can be relatively expensive; so what other solutions are available?

Using empty boxes or tarpaulin curtains to screen off parts of the store can offer a solution to a certain extent to limit air flow very crudely, but doesn't really work if we're trying to limit an application of chemical to just a few hundred tonnes in a bigger building.

A half-way house might be to fit a low-cost shelf to the wall of the store, so it projects out above the top pallet slot. This can have a fan installed within it to provide a suction flow through the boxes, or if it is for just a few rows, could be a pressure (blowing) flow although this really needs equalising using a tapered sock.

Airflow through potatoes under suction (1)
Suction flow: basic

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