SCOTLAND will again play host to the Potatoes in Practice event – Britain’s largest technical potato field exhibition – this year on August 10.

Movers and shakers from all over the UK and beyond will descend on Dundee to take part in the technical event, which will feature a high-standard mix of science, technology and practical advice.

The largest of its type in the UK, it is now a fixture in the calendar for anyone involved in the sector. The packed one-day programme takes the form of a full day of agronomy and variety demonstration plots with guided tours, a technical seminar programme, research and trade stands, static and working machinery displays.

Held at the James Hutton Institute’s Balruddery Farm, near Dundee, as well as crop variety and treatment trials, there will be live machinery demonstrations and the latest research on show.

The seminar programme focuses on four key subjects such as market intelligence; apps and diagnostic tools; late blight and agronomy.

The market intelligence session will feature a presentation by David Swales, AHDB’s head of strategic insight, into the challenges and opportunities for the potato industry from Brexit and a consumer trends update.

He said this week: “Changes to trade regulations could present both challenges and opportunities for British potato growers. There is uncertainty over what trade agreements may be in place in our traditional seed markets, which are predominantly outside the EU, as we currently operate through EU trade agreements with these countries.

“Meanwhile, the possibility of tariffs and the weakness of the pound, may provide opportunities for growers to access the frozen processed potatoes market by replacing current imports with British grown product.”

Similarly, a diagnostic tools session will see demonstrations of new tools such as PotatoSize, Buntata and BlightWatch.

The blight session includes a presentation on the newly announced Hutton Criteria for blight risk analysis, and the agronomy session features talks on the rise of potato cyst nematodes (PCN) in ware potatoes and Scotland’s green cover trials.

On-site demonstration topics will include the past, present and future of the fight against blight; potato breeding, the Commonwealth Potato Collection and its recent seed deposit in the Crop Trust’s Global Seed Vault in Svalbard; waste reduction due to greening and research to climate-proof potato crops against heat and drought, all in addition to the traditional live machinery demos.

* It is organised and hosted by the James Hutton Institute in partnership with AHDB Potatoes, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and Agrii. For more information and booking, visit