Optimising irrigation for scab control

Understanding varietal susceptibility is crucial when deciding on irrigation strategy to prevent common scab in potatoes, says Mark Stalham, senior research associate at NIAB-CUF. Effective management of the disease in Maris Piper calls for perfect timing and perfect irrigation. The good news is growers can afford to be more flexible when it comes to varieties with lower susceptibility to the pathogen. Quality standards for skin finish are tight in both the pre-pack and processed sectors, and common scab is estimated to cost the ware industry around £3 million a year. As tolerances to common scab are declining, getting the irrigation strategy right becomes crucial to achieving market requirements. More