Our sixth edition is packed with exciting news! Brenden won his cricket championship for a fourth year in a row and now he’s finished celebrating he has had time to share his expectations for the 2014 season (potato season that is, we’ll have to wait and see if the Sassafrass boys can go five in a row!)

We feature an extensive article from Dr Bruce Beattie on seed bruising and share with you some photos from our recent seed tours.

Enjoy reading and from all of us at Cherry Hill Coolstores, have a lovely Easter break. Hope the Easter Bunny comes.

The team at Cherry Hill Coolstores


Congratulations to Brenden and his team-mates at the Sassafras Cricket Club for winning their Grand Final. It was their fourth grand final win in a row – a MVCA record!

Brenden’s expectations for 2014 … at this stage there has been very few tonne of seed delivered to Cherry Hill, so this is more about what I am expecting to see in seed lines this year. I think this year there will be a large instance of powdery scab over most varieties that was seen on some of our trips to seed paddocks (other than the seed tours).

Seed shape and numbers have been really good which makes for good sets at cutting. From now on growers need to be mindful not to over water, with some crops still with a lot of life left in them. This is due to late planting season and temperatures dropping therefore usage drops dramatically – the last thing we need is rot creeping into crops.

If you would like to discuss your seed call me or the team on (03) 6426 1590 or email me at

We’d love to hear from you. Brenden and team at the Cherry Hill Coolstores.

Pictured above: Brenden celebrates with his son’s Kyle (left) and Cody (right).


Scott Foster has worked with the Cherry Hill Coolstores for around four years now, and his path is about to take an exciting new direction.

Scott is 100% local and was born in Latrobe. He has been a member of the Wesley Vale football club for 17-years, and is an active part of the football training (and social) calendars.

With a background in sales, Scott is in his element working directly with people. Since his commencement at Cherry Hill, Scott has managed the cutting shed with an average day moving between 70-90 tonnes of seed potato. Logistics and planning is essential, as fungicide is applied 2-3 weeks prior to cutting, and a potato dust afterwards to ensure the flesh is thoroughly sealed. Scott has also looked after general maintenance and is one of the fork lift drivers… and if you’ve ever seen these guys drive, it’s very impressive!

New technologies are constantly introduced at the Cherry Hill Coolstores and Scott is one of the front runners, using our new “Chill Store” workflow system. Scott will also be front of house, meeting with all truck drivers for the receivals and despatches of seed potatoes. And alongside Brenden, Scott will be using the new seed allocation software for Simplot, as well as managing seed allocations for McCain and farmer’s alike. Seed allocation planning can commence 4-6 months ahead, with up to 10,000 tonnes capacity at any given time at the Cherry Hill Coolstores.

We are delighted to congratulate Scott for his new role. We know farmers and truck drivers’ alike, will all enjoy dealing directly with him too.


“Cherry Hill Coolstores cuts all our seed and has done for a long time.

We have a great relationship with Cherry Hill – we go back a long way. The quality of their potatoes are brilliant, we have never had a problem. If we do have any questions, they sort it out, we talk directly to Andrew or Brenden. Overall, they are brilliant.

Cherry Hill Coolstores is a great company, and what they do for us and the cutting of seed is excellent.”

Tony Perry – Talandra Trading, long time potato grower.

View more of our testimonials here.


An extensive article on seed bruising by Dr Bruce Beattle.

Are you a bruiser? No, not o

ne of those that get involved in a street brawl, but someone who gets close to one if you are responsible for bruising valuable seed potatoes.

Damage to planting material occurs mainly through harvesting and planting machinery. The incidence is influenced by the seed bed and nutrient status of the soil both of which are in the grower’s control. The effects of soil temperature and moisture on tubers has to be monitored to minimise damage. An awareness of the susceptibility to bruising of each variety is also necessary.


The external damage is easily observed as scuffing and shatter bruise, whilst the internal bruising of black spot is detectable within 24 hours by peeling or cutting the tuber. There are two times in the life of a seed tuber, when damage is likely to occur. The first is at harvest, and for how many years have the reminders gone out to “get it right.” The second is “in set” preparation and planting which also have a set of requirements.


The recommendations for harvest practice have been around near 40 years, but only became really important when payment for processing tubers was based on an incentive/penalty payment for bruising which affected returns compared to yield only.

Added to this was the effect of restrictions on tuber size on payments. The requirement of undamaged tubers in the right weight range is also a necessity for seed production.


Did you check the harvester at the end of the previous season? I remember one incidence where tubers had sprouted and dust and clods went everywhere, when there was an unexpected call for an early start to harvest. Obviously, care and maintenance of every valuable piece of machinery is in the interest of all. Not wanting to sound too much like a teacher I had, where the story went “did you?” “have you?” and “no the goat didn’t eat your homework” (or was it a dog?). Making sure everything is checked over is necessary as break downs never go down well. All operators are aware that matching tractor and harvester chain speeds are important to achieve a good harvest outcome.


The preparation for harvest begins at planting time when it is hoped and desirable to have a friable seed bed free of clods and stones that can be a source of damage at harvest time. In addition soil testing will have indicated the phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) status of the soil and the appropriate amounts applied. Remember adequate K, not only, affects yield but also reduces the incidence of black spot. Minimising crop and weed residue improves the harvest program.


At harvest the soil needs to be moist to reduce the scuffing and skin damage which may result in the opportunity of dry rot and gangrene to become established. Under ideal conditions soil moisture for harvest is between 60 and 80% of field capacity. Bearing this requirement in mind, experience has shown dry soils and soft tubers result in higher levels of black spot and low shatter bruise. The converse occurs in tubers that are crisp (turgid, juicy); black spot is low and shatter bruise is more common. To complicate the picture further, soil temperature has an influence on the incidence of bruising … At 5°C up to 45% of tubers could be damaged. At 13°C up to 25% could fall in the image zone, whilst at 15°C only 5% may be affected. These temperatures can occur on a daily and also a seasonal basis.

The next question is, how does the soil temperature vary over a day? Air and soil have a daily actuation.

The warming of the soil can lag several hours behind air temperature. The air temperature usually peaks between noon and 1 pm. The soil however may peak between 2 and 6 pm or even later. This results in more bruising earlier in the day and less in the afternoon, and again modified by the conditions of the day.

Once harvested further handling is necessary in preparation of each generation and especially so for certification. Whilst fungicide treatment is standard, flesh wounds need to heal preferably above 10°C before storage at 4°C.


Tubers coming out of storage will be at 4°C or lower, therefore a period of warming is necessary before sets are cut (either pre-cut or fresh cut). In either situation the cut surface needs to heal (suberise) in the presence of a suitable fungicide at 10°C if possible. Handling of seed in the planting process needs to be as gentle as possible. Observations in Washington State USA showed inappropriate handling (bruising) of seed between store and soil could result in loss of yield which varies year to year.


Bruising of seed tubers can be reduced at planting through soil preparation and nutrition. Harvest, storage, set cutting and planting all have activities that are capable of reducing yield “the size grade being produced. Remember, tuber and sets are living tissue, so you need to treat your future income with kid gloves.

Read more about our seed services here …


At Cherry Hill, we have installed a control system for our Coolstores. The system links all our rooms to our office and phones, and will give an alert when things need attention. The ability to print daily, weekly or seasonal coolstore temperature logs will be ideal for reporting storage conditions. It also gives us the ability to control the maximum demand component of our power consumption.

This innovation is another wheel in the system that gives potato growers even more security when using Cherry Hill Coolstores for your potato seed services.


Thanks to everyone who made our recent seed tours a great success. Here are a few happy snaps from the events:


Pictured from left to right: 1. Inspecting potatoes in Robin Gray’s paddock at Rutherglen, 2. Closer inspection of the potatoes at Robin Gray’s, 3. Simplot’s Les Murdoch making a point and 4. Michael Cresswell from Deloraine.


Our Seed Management Service. Cherry Hill Coolstores will guarantee our services on Seed Growers seed. If you buy someone else’s certified seed, which is presented to Cherry Hill in good condition, and it breaks down, we will replace our cutting and services at no charge.

This guarantee specifically refers to seed piece breakdown, (i.e. rots) and refers to seed which is delivered directly to Cherry Hill from the Seed Paddock for coolstoring and cutting.

In order for this guarantee to be valid, the buyer must make claims with 24 hours of the seed leaving Cherry Hill and before planting.

There appears to be some confusion with the terms and conditions of our seed-handling guarantee. Let us explain …

If you engage Cherry Hill to store and cut your seed potatoes and the seed (when delivered to you) has unplantable faults, like seed piece rot or cut sets, which are unacceptable to you – we will grade the seed to an acceptable standard at no cost to you.

If this cannot be achieved, we will refund the costs of cool storage, bin hire and cutting of those tonnes affected. This guarantee covers all certified seed stored at Cherry Hill, which has been delivered to us in a disease free condition.

Our commitment to this guarantee gives you the confidence that if we do not get our input right we will be responsible for those costs.

When there is seed piece breakdown it is often a combination of issues, some of which are out of our control. However, we are determined to make sure our input is positive and responsible.

Make sure your seed is delivered in to us as soon as possible after digging so fungicide can be applied.

View more about our guarantee here…


Read past editions of our newsletter here.

Happy Easter from all of us at Cherry Hill…


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F: (03) 6426 2464
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