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Secret of the cultivation of Scottish seed potatoes revealed

April 2024

Steadily humming, a Massey Fergusson 6480 with in its tracks a two-row Standen-Pierson is climbing along the slope of the Firth of Tay. Seed potatoes of the Valor variety are growing on this very hilly terrain. The Valor comes from the Scottish trading company Caithness Potatoes. The Dutch group of hobby breeders from the Midden Nederland Potato breeders’ Association, who are here to examine the demand for new varieties, are enjoying this idyllic harvest scene. Here, man and machine work closely and meticulously together. While the tractor driver is closely watching the lifting operation of the blue machine, his colleagues, at the back of the lifter, are fanatically gleaning the potatoes. These are then treated on the machine with a preservative, and transferred to the box on the parallel-moving transport combination. The Scottish growers and co-owners of Caithness, Robert Doig and Gordon Smillie, look on with satisfaction at how efficiently the potatoes disappear into the boxes. Are we here witnessing the Scottish Erwinia-free seed potato cultivation secret?

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