With 113,682 total traded tonnes 2014 was definitely Nene’s biggest year to date. The members potatoes amounted to 101,000 tonnes which we finished selling on the 17th of July.
Our 2015 season started on the 20th of July with loose skin piper out of Shropshire. With 85,000 tonnes of cold storage in the group and a mix of soil types and growing areas we are marketing potatoes for 12 months of the year.
We have started lifting in Norfolk and Shropshire and yield and quality are very good. Burn down has started in this area but generally our non-irrigated silts need two to three weeks more growth.
Approx. 30% of the Nene crop is irrigated at the moment but schemes are in place which will significantly increase this area.
Piper is generally on the small side and is showing levels of scab to a greater or lesser extent and dry matters are starting to creep up and we are testing all our Piper crops weekly.
VARIETY TRIAL MEETING
We have recently held our variety trial day where we looked at 20 new varieties. This is an annual exercise with two plots, one on irrigated sandy soil and one on unirrigated silt. New varieties that show up well we progress to commercial sized areas.
This process has given us Saphire, Lanorma, Safari, Nectar and Mozart.
We are holding our first wash up of the season on the 10th of September.
We have employed two people this season to help Bryonie carry out the storage survey in order to give us a better picture of our harvest quality.
We are currently reviewing our Food Safety Policies and all members will be required to complete a grower/ supplier pack in order for us to comply with customers terms and conditions of purchase.
Sprout control is an annual challenge and we will be holding a CIPC workshop at Winters Lane. We aim to achieve better sprout control without exceeding MRL’s.
We are desperate to get boxes reunited with their rightful owners so if you have any Nene boxes on your site please let us know.
We will be having a stand at Potato 2015 at Harrogate and hope you will visit us there.