There will be no room for complacency in potato weed control strategies in the UK this spring, as British growers embark on their first season without the popular broad-spectrum contact herbicide diquat.
Up to now, weed control was pretty simple – many would plant, wait until weeds emerge and sometimes cover up to 40% of the crop, then apply a residual plus diquat mix.
This approach provided adequate control of larger weeds, resulted in relatively little crop damage and all with minimal management input, because growers always had time on their side.
However, with diquat’s revocation in the UK, this “casual” approach to weed management in potato crops is no longer sustainable or tenable. Growers need to find alternative approaches.