UK: Potato Cyst Nematode pest resistance and tolerance put to test at new Hutchinsons trial site

Agronomy firm Hutchinsons  is running a series of trials at its new Fenland potato demonstration site near Mildenhall in Suffolk to examine how 15 leading varieties of potato crop differ in their resistance and tolerance to Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) under a high pressure situation. Pictured are Michael Rodger and John Keer.Growing potato varieties that are both resistant and tolerant to PCN holds the key to tackling one of the biggest threats to UK crops, according to agronomy firm Hutchinsons. The firm’s new Fenland potato demonstration site near Mildenhall is looking at how 15 leading varieties differ in their resistance and tolerance to the pest under a high pressure situation. The aim is to improve the limited information on varietal tolerance to PCN available from breeders and dispel some of the misconceptions around the role of “resistance”, explained John Keer from Richard Austin Agriculture, who is managing the trial with his colleague Michael Rodger. “Resistance and tolerance are not linked. There is a crucial difference growers have to remember,” he said. More