A Dutch-made potato haulm puller is now available in the UK through Ely-based Standen Imports, offering growers a ‘simple and cost-effective method’ of haulm destruction. Following the withdrawal of chemical desiccant diquat, there has been much discussion over which alternative haulm destruction method, or combination of methods, is best.
Adam Clarke reports for Farmers Weekly that the vast majority of growers have opted for a flail-and-spray approach, which includes a pass with a topper to knock down the canopy, followed by applications of PPO-inhibitor herbicides to finish off the green stems. There is an increased focus on sustainability and a drive to reduce reliance on chemical inputs in crop production.
Dutch brand Vegniek says that pulling potato haulm can reduce the need for at least one – or possibly two – chemical sprays, but can eliminate the need for herbicides altogether. With haulm pulling, growth stop is immediate if stolon separation is efficient, so passive bulking of tubers – and potential loss of marketable yield – is prevented. It is claimed that the skin-set process also takes much less time than with herbicides
Source: Farmers Weekly. Read the full article here
Photo: Standen Imports