Potatoes are an important crop in Scotland, particularly in the Tayside and east of the country. Scotland has a proud history of producing quality seed potatoes. With a climate of cool and wet conditions, crop yields are promoted and aphid populations naturally remain relatively low when compared to other areas within the UK; this is important since aphids are responsible for transmitting potato viruses.
In Scotland, during 2018 there were 27,400 ha of potatoes planted comprising of approx. 12,100 ha of seed potatoes and 15,300 ha used to grow potatoes.
Whilst dry conditions are required at the time of planting, rainfall is required to ensure that tuber crops bulk up after flowering. The risk of blight disease increases with heat and humidity, so careful crop observation and management is required to maintain healthy production. Dry weather and ground conditions are required at the time of harvest to ensure that crops can be efficiently lifted with minimal damage to soil structure. Delays in harvesting can increase the risk of frost exposure which can damage crops.
Seed potatoes produced and marketed in Scotland must be classified under the Seed Potato Classification Scheme. More details are available from the SASA web site.
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