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NIAB CUF and CUPGRA

Potato agronomy and research


Known for its world-leading potato agronomy research, NIAB CUF is focused on meeting the future needs of UK potato growers and their customers.

Over the past 30 years NIAB CUF, formerly The Agronomy Research Group at Cambridge University Farm, has led the way in developing a greater understanding of the potato crop and its cultivation, working closely with the entire potato supply chain to improve production efficiency and sustainability in this important sector of the arable economy.

An unrivalled source of agronomy research and expertise, NIAB CUF carries out essential work in key areas such as soil management, input use, varietal selection and new product development. Benefiting from access to NIAB’s genetic research, rotational agronomy and national trialling capabilities, NIAB CUF is also addressing climate resilience, water use, nutrient management and carbon release within the potato crop.

Based in Cambridge NIAB CUF’s research interests include:

  • growth, development and health of the potato plant;
  • the formation and growth of tubers, especially in relation to size, physiology, pathology and dry-matter content;
  • nutrient and water requirements;
  • soil management;
  • the influence of storage conditions on tuber physiology and disease ingress;
  • seed production systems.


Working with, and funded by industry, levy boards, charities, partner organisations and institutions, NIAB CUF is committed to ensuring the benefits of high-quality research are transferred effectively into practical agriculture.

NIAB CUF retains links with the University of Cambridge’s Department of Plant Sciences, as well as close involvement with the Cambridge University Potato Growers Research Association (CUPGRA), a society of the University with a wide membership of growers, packers, processors, agronomists and others with a strong interest in the development of the potato industry.

For more information on the NIAB CUF YieldCheck system and CanopyCheck app, winner of the 2014 RASE Oxford Farming Conference Practice with Science Award, go to Potato Crop Management


Key staff include:

  • Dr David Firman, Head of NIAB CUF
  • Dr Marc Allison, Senior Research Associate
  • Dr Mark Stalham, Senior Research Associate
  • Dr James Fowler, Senior Research Associate
  • Dr Jennifer Preston, Research Associate
  • Dr Simon Smart, Research Associate

 

Latest project reports and information

Improving cultivation practices in potatoes (AHDB Potatoes, contractor NIAB CUF)
To improve cultivation practices in potatoes to increase soil structural stability, lengthen the window of  cultivatability, improve soil N use efficiency, reduce wastage and energy consumption and produce consistently larger marketable yields, thereby improving competitiveness and sustainability
October 2015