Chip and Crisping Potato Trials – Brickyard Farm

by | Nov 8, 2023 | Trial Reports

Brickyard Farm - North East Yorkshire

Andrew Wilson of C.J. Wilson & Son is the fourth generation to farm on the Castle Howard Estate, about 14 miles North East of York. Their operation has grown steadily and now grows around 250 acres of potatoes, supplying chip and crisp factories in roughly equal measures – including Walkers’ Crisps and McCain’s chips.

Andrew lives by his dual philosophies: ‘Do what you do best, and do itbetter’, and ‘Where there are problems, there are solutions, and where there is challenge, there is satisfaction’.

Andrew constantly seeks improvement and the means to conserve soil
and grow better crops more sustainably.

With this in mind, Andrew has been using OptiYield on his potato crops for the past 6 years and over the past few years has come to rely
on the soil improvement and biostimulant regime that underlies most OptiYield programmes, through the application of a very special blend of microbial species and biostimulants at planting.

This blend, based on Consortium-Z (originally OF&G Organically certified). It is sprayed directly onto tubers at planting through an applicator with or without a partner fungicide.

While Andrew has used this mixture widely on his cropping over the past 6 years, he was particularly interested to see how it would perform on a new crisping variety, Brooke. For direct comparison he left areas of his commercial crop untreated with Consortium-Z and simply followed his original “conventional” regime.

The Results

  • Significant increases in marketable yields of 16.7% in commercial crop
  • Valued at £1,423 per hectare net increase in marketable yield value
  • Out of Specification losses cut by £400 per hectare
  • Significant increase in establishment, rooting & vigour

“There was a very marked difference between the treated and untreated areas and fields,” explains Andrew, “when we visually examined the crops, we found that rooting was also increased and there was a significant increase in tuber numbers, and that these were heavily weighted towards the Marketable Fraction, with very few outliers. Skins were also very clean and bright. Although this is not specifically important in this crisping variety (Brooke) it can be very important for pre-pack varieties.”

“These results were particularly impressive this year in what was a very stressful year for potato cropping with a very cool, wet start followed by a sustained and prolonged period of drought and high temperatures just when the potatoes were both setting tubers and bulking.”

“We will be looking to treat all of our future cropping following the OptiYield and Consortium programme.”


Picture of carrot rows showing differences in growth