Europe, UK, Ireland

AHDB research focuses on reducing potato sprouting in stores without CIPC

Currently CIPC is used as a sprout suppressant on more than 80 per cent of potatoes stored in the UK.

However, the future of CIPC remains uncertain as the European Food Safety Agency’s recommendation is for non-renewal, which could leave many growers lacking options in terms of short and long term potato storage. (AHDB Potatoes)

While CIPC remains the most effective method for reducing sprouting in storage, AHDB has been carrying out trials on alternative suppressants and early results have shown that some of these options work well, particularly when combined. This latest research builds on previous work on sprout suppression which has been recognised as a major issue due to the industry’s reliance on CIPC.

Uncertain future

AHDB crop storage senior scientist Adrian Briddon explains: “It looks likely that in the future growers won’t be able to rely on one active product, but instead may need to combine two or three chemicals, such as maleic hydrazide and DMN, to get the same result.

For example in the first year of trials, combinations of active substances were needed to control sprouting in the most demanding conditions, without CIPC.   

Maleic hydrazide, a growth regulator also used for sprout suppression was recently re-approved for use, but with changes to its label that may reduce the extent of its use in some markets. 

DMN is effective in both pre-pack and processing stores; and is of particular interest because in the USA it is also registered for use on seed. So, as well as sprout control for ware potatoes, there may also be interest in using it to modify stem and progeny tuber numbers.

Read the full article in Food and Farming Futures