Good application is essential in getting the most from maleic hydrazide (MH), which AHDB trials in the UK have shown to be a useful, cost-effective tool for controlling early dormancy break in potatoes.
This helps delay or reduce the need for more expensive and volatile alternative in-store treatments, such as spearmint oil and ethylene, and rein in overall storage costs. Adam Clarke reports for Farmers Weekly.
Additional benefits of using maleic hydrazide include a reduction in secondary growth and chain tuberisation, and it also minimises internal sprouting.
Manufacturer data also shows that MH can control 70-90% of volunteers post-harvest, which helps in an integrated control strategy against soil-borne diseases, late blight, virus and potato cyst nematode (PCN).
However, some variable sprout control results have been seen in trials and commercial crops, and it is thought this variability is very often down to poor application timing and/or conditions at spraying.
FWI asked experts from the two maleic hydrazide suppliers – UPL and Certis – for some advice on getting the process right.