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Potato Gap Analysis: Identifying the future crop protection needs for the potato crop


We are working on this project funded by AHDB, with Dr Matthew Back at Harper Adams University. The project will identify gaps in potato crop protection across the sector, for a wide range of targets in the growing crop and storage.


Potatoes represent one of the most challenging crops to grow and store in Great Britain. The seed, the growing crop and the stored crop are under threat from pests, weeds and diseases. Each sector (fresh, processing and seed) has its’s own challenges, although some of the issues cut cross all sectors. Currently, crop protection in potatoes is heavily reliant on chemical control strategies. However, EU pesticide legislation (No (EC) 1107/2009) presents a challenge in reregistering or registering new agrochemicals. Added to this, policies from the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) and maximum residue limits (MRLs) are compounding the pressure on pesticides.  In this respect, research into alternative control strategies such as biopesticides is of paramount importance.

This potato gap analysis will identify gaps in crop protection (conventional plant protection products (agrochemicals), biopesticides, biologicals, availability of cultivar resistance and cultural control methods) across the sector (seed, fresh and processing) for a range of exiting targets (pests, disease, weeds, sprout suppression and crop desiccation) in the growing crop and in storage, and highlight the risk of the problem particularly in relation to factors such as regulatory implications, state of resistance management and emergence of new pests and diseases. The gap analysis will help the industry to prioritise crop protection research for the short and medium term and develop and build integrated pest management adoption across the sector.

Funded by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.

This project forms part of the work carried out by the Centre for Evidence-Based Agriculture at Harper Adams University.

Funding Body

Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board

Lead Organisation

Harper Adams University

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