Mechanically flailing potato haulms to remove the majority of the biomass not only slows down tuber bulking, it can also speed up the desiccation process by as much as 25%.
This makes it a key tool within a potato growerâ€™s depleted armoury for next season, after the use-up period for broad-spectrum herbicide diquat â€“ the mainstay product for desiccation â€“ ends in February 2020.
Although some growers are already achieving successful desiccation by flailing alone, most are likely to follow up with a sequence of PPO inhibitor herbicides, the only chemistry still available, to achieve complete burn down.
As both Gozai (pyraflufen-ethyl) and Spotlight Plus (carfentrazone-ethyl) are contact herbicides, selecting the right machine to suit the field conditions and the right topping technique will be vital to preparing the crop correctly for spraying.
See also:Â Potato haulm toppers: What are the options?