Equipment/Technology

Video: Top tips for successful potato flailing

Mechanically flailing potato haulms to remove the majority of the biomass not only slows down tuber bulking, it can also speed up the desiccation process by as much as 25%.

This makes it a key tool within a potato grower’s depleted armoury for next season, after the use-up period for broad-spectrum herbicide diquat – the mainstay product for desiccation – ends in February 2020.

Although some growers are already achieving successful desiccation by flailing alone, most are likely to follow up with a sequence of PPO inhibitor herbicides, the only chemistry still available, to achieve complete burn down.

As both Gozai (pyraflufen-ethyl) and Spotlight Plus (carfentrazone-ethyl) are contact herbicides, selecting the right machine to suit the field conditions and the right topping technique will be vital to preparing the crop correctly for spraying.

Watch the full video in Farmers Weekly here

See also: Potato haulm toppers: What are the options?