The drought issue: British potato farmers advised on dealing with haulm desiccation in dry conditions

Image result for haulm desiccation potatoIn a recent article posted on the AHDB Potatoes website, it is noted that Syngenta has issued updated advice on the use of Reglone for burn-off (desiccation) due to ‘the extremely dry conditions’. The advice is: “Due to the exceptionally dry conditions being experienced this year we will not be supporting 1.0 l/ha Reglone without a valid SMART test pass (as per the Reglone label).  Should conditions return to a more normal rainfall level we will review the advice as appropriate.” Dr Mark Stalham of NIAB CUF, has reviewed the options available to growers. He said: “We have done work in the past on using Reglone in dry conditions at reduced doses. If that is not available then growers really do have limited options. 

People may think of a mechanical flail, but flailing a crop under heat stress would likely pose a big risk of internal defects. Growers considering this route, should consider taking crops out in the very early morning when they’ve had a chance to re-hydrate overnight.” If considering chemical treatments in these conditions, growers are advised to speak to their advisor, or chemical company to discuss best practice and the options available.

AHDB Potatoes say they’ve have heard via contacts at NEPG, that this is also a concern across the continent and that normal practice in these conditions is to split doses and apply with a ‘high water volume’.

Go here to read more on the AHDB Potatoes website and watch a short video where Mark Stalham discusses burn-off. Note: This video was shot on a phone in a windy field, sorry for the noise quality