Cultivation/Production, Europe, UK, Ireland, Storage

Potato sprout control: A look at UPL’s maleic hydrazide product FAZOR

British potato growers are increasingly recognizing the significance of maleic hydrazide, a key component in UPL’s product, FAZOR. This chemical is a crucial part of sprout control programs, and UPL has recently released new best practice guidelines to optimize its use, according to a news release.

According to UPL’s potato technical expert, Geoff Hailstone, “90% of growers are utilizing maleic hydrazide.” He notes that FAZOR’s application directly to the crop makes it a cost-effective method for sprout control.

FAZOR is also recognized for its effectiveness in sprout suppression. Traditional sprout control programs often involve an initial application of ARGOS (orange oil) within two to six weeks to aid in sprout suppression. However, with FAZOR, the need for ARGOS application is delayed by two to three months.

The use of FAZOR not only simplifies operations and potentially reduces application costs, but it also provides several benefits to the treated crops. These include a decreased risk of secondary growth, reduced internal sprouting in storage, and a significant reduction of volunteer potatoes in subsequent crops.

The timing of FAZOR application, like all plant growth regulators, is critical. Maleic hydrazide must be properly absorbed and translocated to the growth points of the tubers for optimal results. Hailstone suggests applying FAZOR when the saleable tubers are larger than 25mm, the first signs of the lowest leaves senescing are visible, and there’s between three and five weeks before haulm destruction.

Hailstone emphasizes the importance of correct timing, especially given the challenges growers face in managing blight spray programs and irrigation. He also advises growers to prioritize FAZOR application as they only have one chance to get it right.

To enhance the effectiveness of FAZOR application, Hailstone recommends not mixing FAZOR with other products in a tank, applying it at least 24 hours before irrigation or rainfall, applying in the evening if daytime temperatures exceed 25C, and using a water volume of between 350 and 500 litres per hectare for optimal crop coverage.

Hailstone concludes by noting that even under less than ideal conditions, maleic hydrazide can still provide valuable sprout suppression. By following these best practices and detailed guidance on FAZOR, potato growers can potentially improve the quality of their crops and achieve better market prices.

Source: UPL UK. Press release here
Photo: Credit UPL UK

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