Scotland: Potato producers dig in to cut costs and boost yields

Farmers could make big savings by changing their approach to tilling. Picture: Craig StephenScotland’s tattie growers could save money and improve both their yields and income by reducing bed tillage and the depth of their de-stoning operations, a commercial-scale trial has shown. Putting recent research findings to the test showed that by moving away from a traditional catch-all approach and adopting reduced cultivation techniques growers could save close to £30 a hectare establishing their crop and gain an extra 11 tonnes a hectare of marketable crop after dressing out – all while dramatically reducing the carbon footprint of their operations. Speaking ahead of an Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board potato meeting yesterday, Claire Hodge, the facilitator at Scotland’s Strategic Potato (SPot) Farm, said that both researchers and growers had been surprised by the financial bonus which adopting this new approach could bring. More