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PSI Bulletin: March 2024

No. 3/24 SUBSCRIBER EDITION: please go to to sign up as a Synopsis subscriber. Most of our bulletins are fully accessible only to our subscribers.


Welcome to the March edition of Synopsis, PSI’s monthly round-up of potato storage information and news.


Reports continue to suggest that the current level of shortages in the potato supply chain is unlikely to decline anytime soon, with more stores unloading and slow changes to land conditions likely to delay planting on all but the lightest soils.


Our best practice slot is for those with crops in store and focuses on the need for regular checks in part-unloaded stores to try to ensure the remaining crop is not compromised. It is always key to monitor crop condition whilst, for processing markets, it is also important to follow up chemical treatments with a detailed check to ensure the treatment is continuing to keep sprouts at bay.

This month's technical insight feature takes a look at EEP (Styrofoam) insulated roofs and some of the problems these can suffer from as they age.


The last two days of February saw the PSI annual residential training course run at Boroughbridge in Yorkshire with a full complement of 24 trainees in attendance, including two transatlantic visitors who slotted the course into their schedule whilst travelling over from Manitoba in Canada.

There was a good buzz amongst the group as we worked our way through two full days of training across presentations, group discussions, practicals and scenario challenges.

Glyn Harper covered disease management with the full group


A group problem-solving session on static and velocity pressure elicited a variety of solutions - and a few smiles!

A key aspect of the course is to ensure participants have a good understanding of the principles we rely on to make sure stores work and, ultimately, keep crops in good condition. This year for the first time some delegates are also taking the BASIS (Stored Potatoes) exam.

PSI hopes to be able to run the residential course again in March 2025. In the meantime, half or one day training on a bespoke basis can be arranged; contact Adrian Cunnington on 07970 072260 or email


GB Potatoes, Potato Storage Insight and SDF Agriculture are organising a Strategic Potato Storage event on Tuesday 14 May 2024 from 09.30 at Winters Lane Storage, Long Sutton to which all PSI subscribers are cordially invited. A registration link provided by GB Potatoes can be accessed here.

Morning Session – Winters Lane Storage, Long Sutton, PE12 9BE courtesy of Winters Lane Storage grower co-operative members

  • Project partners stands to be viewed on arrival.

  • Event partners include: Agrofresh, Biofresh/Safestore, Certis Belchim, Cornerstone Systems, Crop Systems, Farm Electronics, HK Timbers, Hutchinsons, McCain, NFU Energy, Potato Storage Treatments, Restrain, University of Greenwich (UoG), UPL, Welvent

  • Presentations on trials and the cold storage for fresh / table potatoes strategy deployed at WLS. Topics to include:

Storage regimes – cold temperatures & sprout suppression options

Maleic hydrazide uptake – results for commercial varieties

Store design performance in terms of air flow – Aspire system and reversing of fridge coil

Evenness of temperatures throughout the stores

Energy use & storage costs

Respiration / weight loss – concepts and data from the University of Greenwich 'pod'.


New / existing PCN varieties in storage under WLS regime.


Lunch at Winters Lane site

  • Refreshments

  • View exhibitors' stands


Afternoon – option to visit satellite stores at Gedney Dyke, PE12 0AJ courtesy of S&S Pugh

  • 2 processing stores

  • Commercial crops for McCain

  • 2 storage strategies:

MH + DMN + Ethylene

MH + 1-MCP (ethylene blocker) + Ethylene.

Fry colour results for varieties from each storage regime.


MH results for commercial crops

Respiration information from the UoG pod

SmartStor equipment installed running one store

Insulation / airflow (closed system)

Carbon dioxide monitoring and flushing

Weight loss.


Regular checks are very important as we move out of winter holding

With crops now moving out of their natural dormancy period, changes in their condition can take place rapidly at this time of year within crops that are being held for spring or summer delivery.

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