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Potato tuber treatment – specialist advice

Appropriate tuber treatment is an essential step in developing healthy and abundant harvests, according to potato specialists at AHDB in the UK. In a recent news article, AHDB says the cost of growing potatoes is likely to increase in the following years as a result of replacing lost chemicals; potential losses due to diseases must be avoided whenever possible through application of the correct treatment, starting with the seed.

As this is a complex process, AHDB says potato seed producers, traders and end users are encouraged to seek information regarding the correct treatment procedure, such as the best time to apply the chemicals or the stage of the skin set.

Why is potato seed treatment important?

Over recent years, growers and agronomists have noticed an increase in levels of disease in potato seed. One factor is the common production of dual purpose crops. The ware fraction must not have certain tuber treatments applied. If grading does not take place at an early stage, seed treatments have sometimes been applied too late or not at all.

Due to the intricacy of this subject, specialist advice should be sought if possible.         

What can I do to maintain healthy seeds before treatment? 

To overcome this challenge and reduce the risk of diseases the following steps, which don’t involve use of chemicals, can be taken:

  • choosing the right variety – find information on varietal disease resistance using our Variety Comparison Tool 
  • planting – avoid any stress that delays emergence, such as planting non-sprouted seed too deep, especially if on lighter soils in dry conditions
  • harvesting and grading – see our harvesting and handling guide 

When should seed treatment be applied?

Early grading is recommended in order for the treatment to be applied as soon as possible after harvesting.

Where can I find out more about potato seed treatment?

We have created a fact sheet which can be used as a guideline for potato tuber treatments. This document, which follows an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach, contains essential information on different types of diseases, with the best prevention and treatment options available. The factsheet analyses the best times and production stages to apply treatments, providing pros and cons for these methods.

Storing advice is also given, as temperature and moisture can negatively affect the tuber and increase the risk of diseases. An insert with recommended chemicals is also included in the document. Please note that this insert is due to be updated as Monceren, which is still a legal active at this moment, is soon to be withdrawn.

Please click here to view the Potato tuber treatment factsheet

Source: AHDB

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