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Dry conditions not hindering potato development in Britain, but common scab might be an issue

Potato planting in Britain has got off to a good start this season, with the dry conditions in some areas not expected to affect emergence. As Alice Dyer reports for Farmers Guardian, Velcourt Advisory Services agronomist Patrick Levinge says soils have been left very dry by the lack of rain, but at this stage, it should not be having a negative impact on crop development. 

“You would not expect a drought at this time of year to effect main crop potatoes as the lack of moisture does not inhibit emergence.” And although the dry soils will have an impact on residual herbicide efficacy, good firm fine ridges will aid weed control, Mr Levinge says.

“Looking at current growth, stem numbers are good too and although the tell-tale signs of seed diseases have not come through yet, common scab is likely to be an issue on susceptible varieties if no rain arrives in time for tuber initiation.”

The cooler conditions at the end of April are unlikely to have much impact on growth, but if frosts hit in May again, there may be more long-term damage, Mr Levinge says.

Source: Farmers Guardian. Read the full story here
Photo: Courtesy and credit Farmers Guardian

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