Proud British entrepreneurs continue to innovate even after Brexit CU LTIVATION AND TECHNOLOGY Metal detector for small grading units cially in washed product lines. British company Agritec from Preston is a supplier of Watson & Brookman equipment, including grading units. A smaller version on which a newlydesigned metal detector was mounted could be admired at the Agritec stand. It is mounted on the conveyor belt, so just in front of the grading section. As soon as it detects metal on the belt, the entire line stops and the operator can manually remove the metal from the product flow. The grader has a capacity of 8 tons per hour. According to Agritec’s representative John Fletcher, the total cost of the grader and metal detector is £8,000. An afFordable set for the do-it-yourself packager among British potato growers. According to Agritec’s representative John Fletcher, the metal detector on the grading machine costs around £8,000. Over the years, many British potato growers have switched to grading, packaging and, where necessary, washing the potatoes themselves. Stainless steel machines are highly desirable with regard to food safety and hygiene, espeAgrico recommends Laguno to control nematodes The fact that there are major problems in British potato cultivation when it comes to nematodes is not only the topic of lectures. Exhibitors, such as the many seed potato trading companies at the show, are flooded with the demand for resistant varieties. This is also the case at the Agrico stand, says Export Manager Jeffrey Dijk. But the demand is a bit late in coming, he says. British growers are a bit different from their Dutch colleagues in that sense. ‘As soon as there’s a problem in our country, we all jump on it and immediately start working on solutions. In Great Britain, they let the problems go on for much longer and only sound the alarm when things are really getting out of hand. This is also because, from cultivation to consumer, everyone wants to stick to the old trusted varieties for as long as possible. This is slowly changing, forced by the seriousness of the problem. For some years now, growers have been buying varieties with resistance to Globodera rostochiensis. But, in fact, they’ve been overtaken by developments again, because there’s already a lot of Globodera Pallida infection. And now, all of a sudden, there’s a run on varieties with Pallida resistance. The problem with Pallida is that the resistance is difficult to cross and it takes years before you achieve this in a variety that also suits the market. We recently succeeded with such a resistant variety, the Laguno, which actually contains the entire range of nematode resistances that the British could wish for. So there’s a lot of interest in it here at British Potato.’ ‘The Laguno actually contains the entire range of nematode resistances that the British could wish for’, says Jeffrey Dijk of Agrico. Potato World 2020 • number 2 35 Pagina 34

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