Potato World vision PW-ACTUA More expertise needed for potato storage 2020 A few years ago, I was one of the speakers at a seminar in the UK under the title “Storage 2020”. At that time, the main objective was to reduce CIPC inputs and avoid MRL exceedances. Several speakers highlighted how to optimize air flows during CIPC fogging in order to ensure the product reaches all parts of the store. In the UK more than 50 % of all potatoes for the processing industry are stored in box stores. Most of these stores lack a positive ventilation system resulting in poor sprout suppressant distribution. Other speakers were presenting “new” sprout suppressants, like 1,4Sight, Biox-M and Restrain. That seminar seems ages ago, but the lessons learned from the investments made by AHDB for the UK potato industry on CIPC, are now becoming valuable for the use of alternative sprout suppressants. We have entered the year 2020, CIPC is dead, although it left a legacy in once treated stores… With the use of new sprout suppressants, storing potatoes for 4 – 8 months will require much more craftsmanship. In past years, many store managers treated their potatoes with CIPC during store loading, switched on the storage computer and then worried again in spring about the condition of the potatoes. A drastic change of attitude will be required and very frequent inspections necessary when using new sprout suppressants. Some of the major challenges will be: investments in layout and design of box stores for better air distribution; make bulk stores less leaky; managing store climate during the 48 hours closure required by several products without venting with outside air; also consideration of investments in safer application equipment. At Certis, over the past 20 years, we tested new sprout suppressants extensively and developed a vast knowledge base to serve the European potato industry with robust advice on long term potato storage. We challenge all store managers to build up the same expertise urgently, because potatoes are already growing and need to be stored the coming storage season under new legislation! Tjaart Hofman Portfolio Development Manager Europe Certis Europe B.V. The first Chairman is Jean-Pierre van Puymbrouck Belgian potato sector established trade organisation On 20 January, the deed of incorporation of the potato branch organisation Belpotato.be was signed in Huldenberg, Belgium. The Executive Board has a balanced structure of growers, traders and processors and a balance between Dutch and French language speakers is also ensured. Jean-Pierre van Puymbrouck is the first Chairman, while Pierre Lebrun of Fiwap and Kurt Cornelissen of the Potato Cultivation Centre (PCA) will staff the secretariat in the first year. ‘The potato chain faces many challenges. Only through cooperation within the chain can the sector adapt to the needs of our time and remain a leader on the Belgian and world market’, is how the organisation explains the initiative of the General Farmers’ Syndicate (ABS), Belgapom, Boerenbond, Fiwab and the Fédération Wallonne des Agriculteurs (FWA) to jointly set up the branch organisation for Belgian potato cultivation and trade. ‘Belgium is the largest exporter of frozen potatoes in the world and Belgian potato processing is expected to continue to grow in the future. The area of potatoes has reached 100,000 hectares in recent years and potato cultivation is the driving force behind Belgian arable farming’, they emphasise the importance of the sector. Innovating for sustainability The founding members of the non-profit association (vzw) Belpotato.be have published a list of priorities with which they want to start out. Their main objective is to strengthen the sustainability of the sector through innovation. Other spearheads are research and development, seed supply, balanced contractual relations, analysis and exchange of market information, the transition to Chlorprophamfree storage, and the establishment of clear protocols for reception conditions and transparency in the quality assessment of industrial potatoes. The trade organisation will also represent the sector in public and private organisations that undertake action and implement decisions directly related to potato issues. ● Potato World 2020 • number 2 9 Pagina 8

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