Across Regions

The drought issue: Dealing with in-field sprouting and secondary growth

Image result for secondary growth potatoesAt a recent AHDB Potatoes event in the UK, Dr Mark Stalham of NIAB CUF discussed calls he has received regarding the prevention of in-field sprouting and secondary growth. With thunderstorms in the forecast, these are genuine risks. He said: “Many crops, particularly those that are unirrigated, will have effectively stopped growing in the last week or ten days. A deluge of water could cause growth cracks. The heat-stress tubers are under, particular when many have poor canopy cover, means we have seen in-field sprouting and we will continue to see that as long as the hot weather continues. We’ve had calls asking if the use of MH as a growth inhibitor would help. Crops under this much stress are highly unlikely to take-up MH to the required amount to prevent these problems. All that is likely to happen is that you would further restrict yield.” Dr Anne Stone, Knowledge Exchange Manager at AHDB Potatoes has reviewed the conditions required for effective use of MH, describing a challenging situation for growers. Read more on the AHDB Potatoes website