“July is a key time for maleic hydrazide (MH, eg Fazor, Crown, Itcan etc) treatment,” writes storage specialist Adrian Cunnington in the latest issue of his monthly Synopsis bulletin. “With the majority of post-harvest sprout control options lacking residual activity against sprouting – which is so key for long term storage – the role of MH cannot be underestimated,” he points out.
Adrian says conditions this season may make its use more tricky in some parts of the country, especially given the continued dry weather forecast to prevail for the rest of the month.
Some growers are already reporting break of dormancy in the field which is a worrying trend so soon in the season; others are fearing that crops will cease growing, be unable to be treated and face an uncertain few weeks in the field before they can be harvested and loaded into store.
Store servicing and calibration
The storage bulletin this month also focuses on store servicing and calibration. With many forecasting an early harvest, there is work to be done to prepare stores and get equipment fully serviced ahead of the new campaign.
Calibrating probes is an important job too. Store managers rely on probe readings for their management decisions but it is important to know those readings are accurate, so check probes against an accurate hand held thermometer before the season starts.
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Adrian Cunnington can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org