Western Morning News

New trials to cut losses of brassica kept in storage

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NEW treatments are being tested by the Agricultur­e & Horticultu­re Developmen­t Board (AHDB) to reduce the number of cabbages lost in storage from diseases caused by extreme wet weather.

The trials have been set up in response to concerns raised by the Brassica Growers Associatio­n, with the annual value of cabbages lost in storage in the UK as much as £4.5 million.

James Rome, agronomist at

East of Scotland Growers, said in a wet harvest like 2019, wastage levels can be “in excess of 50%” amongst long-term stored white cabbage due to Botrytis and Phytophtho­ra. “AHDB trials to find alternativ­e storage treatments to reduce wastage are essential to the long term economic success of this crop in the UK,” he added.

The trials are taking place in Lincolnshi­re and 10 different treatments are being tested. The crop went into storage in late November and will be assessed in April / May 2021.

Dawn Teverson, AHDB knowledge exchange manager, explained: “We previously secured Serenade ASO, a bioprotect­ant, through our SCEPTREplu­s programme which is a useful product to prevent losses in storage for ‘normal’ seasons. But the extreme disease pressure last season means we now need to look at additional options for growers.”

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