From spuds to scrums for lucky prize draw winner

Farmer David Park is getting ready for the potato harvest.
Farmer David Park is getting ready for the potato harvest.

A Morpeth potato grower came out victorious in a survey scrum to claim Rugby World Cup tickets.

Farmer David Park, of Buston Barns, won a pair of tickets to the opening game of the contest at Twickenham after completing a feedback survey for crop protection business Certis.

The keen rugby fan’s name was pulled out in the prize draw, sending him on his way to the capital to watch England trounce Fiji 35-11.

The survey sought feedback from potato growers in relation to their farming enterprise, crop protection options and their awareness of the Nematicide Stewardship Programme (NSP).

The results showed that about 70 per cent of the 1,000 survey respondents were aware of NSP, despite the initiative only being launched one season ago.

Mr Park said: “In addition to growing 250 acres of potatoes, we’re growing around 1,000 acres of combinable crops.

“Although we’re in the fortunate position to be able to grow potatoes on fairly virgin land, managing the threat of PCN and other prolific potato pests and diseases is a priority for us to ensure we get the quality end results we’re aiming for.

“Therefore, continuing to have access to the right products and precision technology, while taking an integrated approach to crop protection is key for us and other potato growers across the country.”

Certis arable product manager Inez Cornell said the results of the survey were signficant.

She said: “We were keen to hear real feedback from farmers as to what issues they are facing on farm, and what the key drivers for their crop protection decisions are.”

She added: “We’re really pleased to have been able to award the Rugby World Cup tickets to Mr Park.”