PCN Action Scotland Open Day

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Globodera pallida-resistant and partially-resistant varieties in nematicide-treated and untreated plots.

PCN Action Scotland, a Scottish Government-funded project that is partnered by SRUC, Scottish Agronomy, the James Hutton Institute, SASA and SoilEssentials, is hosting an open day at a trial site near Forfar tomorrow (Tuesday, August 16th).

Potato cyst nematodes (PCN), the small parasitic roundworms that feed and reproduce on potato roots, reducing potato yield and quality, are becoming more widespread in Scotland, which impacts the potato and bulb industries. 

Seed potatoes and bulbs cannot be grown on land that is found to have PCN cysts present. In addition, granular nematicides for protecting potato yields have an uncertain future, so it is now time to think about what the potato industry could look like without them, the partnership states.

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The aim of the project is to deliver a sustainable potato and bulb industry for Scotland through the management of PCN and the open day will present an opportunity to see Globodera pallida-resistant and partially-resistant varieties in nematicide-treated and untreated plots, together with a chitin soil amendment trial. There will be discussions led by members of the project about resistance and tolerance, groundkeeper control, integrated pest management and chitinous soil amendment.

The event will creat a real opportunity to ask questions, see PCN resistant varieties and hear about PCN trials and research, according to Dr Phil Burgess, Lead Consultant of Scottishpotatoes.org, the partnership between SRUC, the James Hutton Institute and SASA (Science & Advice for Scottish Agriculture).

Phil recently gave a talk at Potatoes In Practice, outlining some of the work and knowledge exchange surrounding the pest. While advocating the importance of resistant varieties, which were displayed at the field event, he said it was also important to see first-hand its effects and visit plots where it was present and to look at ongoing trial work. Full details of this and other topics discussed at Potatoes In Practice will be featured in the September issue of Potato Review (subscribe here if you don't already receive a copy).

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