Trial shows how to create quicker ground cover for potatoes

Controlling soil-borne pathogens at the time of potato planting can help encourage faster crop establishment and achieve quicker ground cover in spring, trials have shown.

In JP Agronomy trials, Syngenta's Amistar, applied to the seedbed to control Rhizoctonia, resulted in a ground cover two weeks after its emergence that was 60 per cent greater than the untreated crop.

Furthermore, the treated crop maintained its green leaf at the end of the season, when untreated crops had begun to die back.

Twelve weeks after the emergence of a crop of Markies, for example, the Amistar-treated crop retained 82 per cent ground cover, while the untreated crop's had dropped to 70 per cent.

Syngenta's Tom Whitworth said: "Getting the crop growing faster is essential to optimise tuber set; the prolonged green leaf area at the end of the season can enhance tuber size and quality. In these trials we saw significant yield increases of up to 20 per cent from treatment with Amistar alone."

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