Spray off potato crops now for optimum size and health, growers advised

Potato growers should consider desiccating crops now to avoid outsize tubers and minimise blight risk, a crop specialist has urged.

Potato crop before and six days after desiccation - image:Syngenta
Potato crop before and six days after desiccation - image:Syngenta

With favourable growing conditions across most of the UK this season, many crops have reached the optimum 80-85mm tuber size several weeks ahead of expected.

Shropshire-based Syngenta potato specialist, Rob Farrow says growers now face the challenge of stopping further tuber growth beneath a vigorous crop canopy.

"An initial Reglone application at one litre per hectare can quickly burn off the tops to help manage tuber size more effectively and reliably," he said.

"It will also expose the stems for a second application to complete desiccation before harvest," - which should be five to seven days later, he advised.

With blight pressure reported as high, both sprays can be combined with a treatment of Shirlan to minimise the risk of blight spores moving through the soil to infect tubers, he added.


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