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2024 Member Grants Programme
Proposals to be considered in this round should therefore be submitted by 1st February 2024.


Member-led Grants from CUPGRA

CUPGRA can make available grants to fund member-led potato research

Examples of this would include:

  • early-stage, pump-priming or investigative work

  • reviews of current problems and issues

  • £20,000/annum total expected annual awards        

  • £2,000 to £20,000 individual grant value      


Applications are open to anyone. Grants are subject to: 

  • Providing benefit and good value to CUPGRA membership

  • Meeting sound industry and science criteria

  • Having a good communication mechanism for the work

  • Approval of the CUPGRA Executive

Applications should be made using the CUPGRA Grants application form and returned to Kate Pottle at

Terms and Conditions for awarding CUPGRA Member-led Grants. 
The aim of the CUPGRA “Grants Fund” is to support member-led projects which focus on increasing understanding of an aspect of potato production, improving practical potato agronomy and for testing concepts to provide preliminary data to help secure funding for larger future grants. 
Applicant Eligibility
These grants are open to active CUPGRA members who are committed to increasing the association’s shared knowledge of potato growth and production, as judged by the CUPGRA Executive Committee and R&D Sub-Committee.
As a guide, the Lead Partner:
•    Must have been a member for at least 12 months.
•    Understands CUGPRA, how the organisation functions, and the expectations from collaborators.
•    Has significant interactions with other CUPGRA members.
•    Attends at least two significant technical events (for example, an open day and the annual conference).

These projects should be capable of generating data and conclusions or recommendations applicable to CUPGRA members in general (i.e., not focused solely on the circumstances of the host farm or the project lead). 
1.    Each project will be led by a CUPGRA member (the “Lead Member” and proposer of the project), with oversight from a CUPGRA Exec member (“Exec supervisor”).
2.    The Lead Member is responsible for the design, delivery, data analysis and reporting of the trial. This may be supported by a scientist, normally a member of NIAB Potatoes, with limited advice to enable a robust trial of benefit to the wider CUPGRA membership. The Lead Member will be responsible for the final design, trial delivery and reporting (i.e., not NIAB or the Exec Supervisor).
3.    The Exec Supervisor will monitor project progress and be the point of contact (for both the Lead Member and other CUPGRA members interested in the project). The Lead Member will give the Exec Supervisor a detailed copy of the trial design for assessment of suitability by NIAB or other relevant scientists. The Exec Supervisor will co-ordinate feedback on trial design and statistical robustness and reporting.
4.    Replication: Unless there is a good scientific or practical reason not to, treatments must be replicated to ensure that results reported are representative of responses to the treatments. 
5.    Communication: On successful receipt of a Grant the project lead will write a short update for the CUPGRA website to share with the wider membership the work planned and what it hopes to achieve. 
6.    Communication: Where practical, there should be an opportunity for CUPGRA members to visit the trial site and hear about the trial undertaken. This will benefit the wider membership (show-casing the work that has been funded) and give an opportunity for constructive feedback for the project lead. Depending on the nature of the experiment it may be more convenient to discuss the project at one of the Cambridge CUPGRA open days in the summer. 
7.    Reporting: This should follow the provided template and include sufficient detail for readers to understand the results and how they were generated.

•    Bullet pointed summary/highlights from the experiment, including any recommendations. 
•    Background motivation for the project.
•    Relevant details of trial location and experimental set up e.g., PCN levels, nitrogen applications, planting dates, varieties.
•    Methods of treatment application, detailed enough to allow understanding of trial set-up (including number of replicates). 
•    Robust statistically analysed results showing the effects that the treatments have had on both the target outcome and general crop performance (see appendix), using appropriate statistical tests and standard errors. (Please ask if you have any questions on this). 
•    Discussion of what the results mean for growers/supply chain.
•    Any conclusions which can be drawn from the experiment, any recommendations for others to implement, and recommendations for follow-up research should be clearly laid out.

8.    Reporting: Each experiment will be written up for the Annual Report with scientific support, typically from NIAB. They will also be presented at the Annual Research Review by the Lead Member. 
9.    Payment: Grants will be paid in two instalments, 50% at proof of trial establishment (or at the end of June) and 50% following successful submission of final report, unless agreed otherwise. Invoices for the attention of Kate Pottle,, 01223 651599, CUPGRA, c/o TAG Arable Group, Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0LE.
Appendix – Good practice monitoring 
Not all of these factors will be relevant to every experiment, but this is the type of detail that should be included, to set the experiment in context (allowing other growers/agronomists to compare field set up) and to give detail that helps to interpret the results of the experiment.
•    Address and GPS or what3words locations.
•    Details of field cultivations (including dates, types of machines, tractor used, depth of working), soil type, any sampling carried out.
•    Date of first emergence, and 50% emergence.
•    Ground cover curves, from weekly records of % ground covered by green leaves, as per use of an app, at specific heights above the crop, or drone flights, that are consistent to a pattern and regular enough to give a good quality ground cover development and decline.
•    Yield data – replicated yield digs (minimum 3m dig length is advisable). The number of these to be agreed before planting. 
•    Yield data should be graded by size, over a fixed grader, in addition to total weight of tubers.
•    Pest or bruise assessments in line with NIAB standards.
•    Irrigation records may be relevant and enable SMD calculations.
•    Full details of assessment methods. 

Summary UPDATE Member-led Small Grants from CUPGRA


Note, at the CUPGRA Exec meeting in May, there had been no update on planting due to the season running late.


1.Potato Partnership -PCN, Exec Member James Lee

Continuation of the 2022 work to evaluate a future without Nemathorin.  A fully randomised statistically tested trial.

Evaluation of differing commercial varieties and their yield potential combined with their ability to limit or reduce PCN levels when grown commercially.  With and without Velum Prime.


2. Martyn Cox and Graham Tomalin-Wireworm

Using high risk sites.

1.           To investigate correlation between Glycoalkaloid and Reducing Sugar levels in potato varieties, and their susceptibility to wireworm damage on a high-pressure site.

2.           To produce robust data that will build on existing studies to improve understanding of variety choice to optimise returns on high-risk wireworm sites.

3.           To explore the use of Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) as a companion crop as a tool for reduction of wireworm damage in a potato crop.

Martyn is aiming to do some of the specific asks from Branston within ‘his ‘trial, in order to include and not to duplicate work.

At this stage, unsure which part of the Branston trial work plan has been incorporated.


  1. To explore linkage between wireworm activity (as measured by bait trapping), tuber feeding damage, environmental variables and tuber properties during the potato growing season.

  2. To evaluate the opportunity for soil scanning to detect and map wireworm incidence during autumn field cultivations.

  3. To continue replicated variety trials of 8-10 cultivars with contrasting levels of reported wireworm sensitivity.

  4. To identify differences in sugars and glycoalkaloid concentrations of low and high resistance varieties

  5. To evaluate cover crop combinations with possible benefits of reducing wireworm populations


3. Mark Stalham’s MH work.


Aims to inform Growers better about risks vs weather and soil conditions for spraying MH, thus, to optimise MH uptake.


Note, with thanks to David Almond, who has engaged with Antonia at UP and has got the sampling charges FOC, for residues of MH.


Maximising the rate of uptake, compared to a Reference crop: ensure as many tubers as possible on each plant uptake adequate MH to control sprouting for long periods relies on ensuring the plant is photosynthesizing rapidly. Better information on the timing optimal window for MH application under different levels of water stress would reduce the period of reliance on expensive electricity or sprout suppressants in store, save growers money and reduce the carbon footprint of the crop and the risk of environmental contamination by sprout suppressants.

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