“The traditional way of testing skin-set is putting a large sample through a barrel roller, and then make a judgement based on how they look after that” said Bill.
“Our system will actually give you a number, in newton-meters, for the force needed to break the skin of the tuber.
“We’re using a modified screwdriver that tests torque. Some growers say ‘I know what a set skin looks like, I don’t need that’ – but for us, when we’re running a trial and putting one option against another we can now put a value on it.
“Other growers are very interested, maybe in the future it will become something that will help them make decisions in the field.”
Dr Bill Watts can be reached at Bill.Watts@ahdb.org.uk