IF YOUR potato store is not up to scratch or you are worried about the forthcoming winter, then AHDB is offering a free one-to-one potato store visits via its new Storage Network programme.

These visits will allow levy payers to get up to speed with their individual storage arrangements and to tackle issues they will encounter following the loss of sprout suppressant chlorpropham (CIPC).

The Storage Network is a group of independent advisors trained by specialists at Sutton Bridge Crop Storage Research. Alongside five additional storage research projects, it is part of an £800,000 ring-fenced fund to help the industry deal with the withdrawal of CIPC, announced by AHDB in January.

Adrian Cunnington, head of crop storage research at AHDB, said: “Store managers can call upon the expertise of a range of professionally qualified advisors, supported by our own experts, who will visit businesses to talk though the options, assess stores and provide advice on how to mitigate any impact.”

CIPC has previously been used in more than 85% of long-term potato stores. Its approval will be withdrawn on January 8, 2020, with a use-up period to follow, meaning this will be the last storage season that it should be used. Chris Yardley, one of the AHDB’s Storage Network Partners, said: “Storage will be a challenge post-CIPC. But through the Storage Network I want to help growers future-proof their store.

“Your one-to-one visit is a chance to discuss the latest AHDB research findings, enhance your Red Tractor requirements and start getting the best out of your store.”

Around 40,000 tonnes of storage has already been assessed since July. Store managers can sign-up at the bi-annual BP2019 exhibition, in Harrogate, on November 20 and 21, at the AHDB stand, number 130.