Study tour for potato growers

Potatoes storage SM Farm

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) is offering potato growers the opportunity to travel to Scotland to learn about innovative approaches to potato storage.

Under the new Farm Innovation Visits scheme, managed by DAERA’s College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), potato growers will visit potato stores in the Perth and Aberdeen area that are currently using a variety of ventilation systems for both seed and ware crops.

Dr Stuart Wale, a potato researcher and consultant with SRUC, will be providing specialist support and help the group consider the merits of the different systems.

The group will leave from Belfast International Airport on Wednesday, January 23, and will return on Thursday, January 24, and will be led by CAFRE advisers Robin Bolton and Aveen McMullan.

Fifteen places are available and these will be awarded on a competitive basis.

Applications are invited from one member or employee of farm businesses growing more than three hectares of potatoes provided they are 18 years old on the application closing date and not in full-time education.

In addition, those applying must identify a group of farmers to share their findings with upon their return.

The Farm Innovation Visit scheme, which is part of the NI Rural Development Programme and part funded by the EU, will cover the costs associated with setting up the visit, accommodation, travel outside of Northern Ireland, breakfast, lunch and evening meals when in Scotland.

Participants will be expected to meet any additional costs, including farm relief and travel insurance.

n Potato growers interested in participating can find out more details and complete an application at www.cafre.ac.uk/industry-support/farm-

innovation-visits/

n Applications close at 3pm on Tuesday, December 18.

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