Important updates and advice regarding coronavirus (Covid-19)

Potatoes without diquat: Keeping an eye on your nitrogen levels when using PPO inhibitors

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Since the loss of the desiccant diquat last February, growers have had to look at alternatives in their potato crop burn-down programmes. For many, this means a closer look at nitrogen applications is also needed.

Most growers have turned to PPO inhibitors as an alternative to diquat for desiccating their potato crops. However, as PPO inhibitors work differently to diquat, this has an impact on subsequent nitrogen rates.

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Potatoes - Meeting nutrition demands

Potato nutrition demand

Potatoes are not unique in this respect, but virtually all of their macro-nutrients applications are made before the crop is planted and well before the peak uptake of nutrients that happens 60-75 days after emergence. This, coupled with the plant's naturally poor inherent ability for rooting, means that efficient uptake of nutrients is always challenging.

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Changing times in potato seed treatments

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Last autumn saw the withdrawal of Monceren DS, a powder potato seed treatment containing pencycuron. Many growers have relied on Monceren to control the pathogen Rhizoctonia solani. Left untreated, this pathogen can cause crop-damaging symptoms such black scurf.

Despite the withdrawal of this specific product, the outlook is still good and includes a number of effective specialist liquid treatments. Many of the growers we advise have been moving away from powder treatments anyway with growers reporting concerns about powder formulations on belt planters where it can be difficult to get the dust formulation to stick and retain on tubers. 

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Don’t lose sight of tuber blight management in the run-up to harvest of stored maincrops

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2018 has thrown a range of challenges at potato growers and agronomists, such that blight control has increasingly taken a back seat as the season has progressed. It will be no surprise to anyone that data now shows that soil moisture has been widely yield-limiting due to the unusually high rates of evapotranspiration, even where irrigation was clo...
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Potatoes in Practice

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Kings attended Potatoes in Practice this month, the UK's largest field-based potato event. Held at The James Hutton Institute's Balruddery Farm in Dundee, our team were delighted to be attending for a third year. The event comprised demonstrations of both varieties and machinery, highlighted innovative research and was a great platform for industry...
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Potato desiccation decisions

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As is the case with most opening lines of conversation at the moment, I'm starting this blog with talk of the unprecedented weather we've had. The summer of 2018 will certainly be one to remember, with exceptionally dry conditions hampering the growing season. Across the UK, farmers and growers have been under significant pressure to manage irrigat...
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Moving to liquid potato seed treatment

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​ The Frontier Potato Seedcare team and I had a busy few days at Potato 2017 last month, meeting lots of growers and advisors. While we enjoyed a great range of interesting discussions with those who attended, there was one topic which proved particularly popular – the move to liquid seed treatment. Attendees were keen to discuss the possibility of...
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