British expert provides timely advice on common scab control with irrigation

Related imageRecent dry weather in parts of the UK will mean that more and more growers will be thinking about irrigation, which is a vital time for common scab control. Dr Mark Stalham, Senior Scientist at NIAB CUF whose research, combined with demonstrations held at the Strategic Potato Farm network provided the most up-to-date guidance on common scab control, advises: “Despite late planting, emergence from late April and early May plantings has been rapid and has occurred over a very short period in 2018.  Tuber initiation will occur in most varieties 14-18 days after emergence and this is the key timing for scab control irrigation. We would estimate that soil moisture deficit (SMD) would be around 20-25mm at this stage of the season (15-18 mm in the ridge), unless irrigation has taken place”. Dr Stalham says well-timed and evenly distributed water applied at three- to seven-day intervals “is as beneficial to the crop as daily irrigation, and offers potential water savings and an effective control measure against common scab.” It’s also worth keeping an eye on the Environment Agency (EA) and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) websites for their regular water situation reports. Read more

Danish growers in the grip of severe drought; millions of Euros at stake

Danish news site ATL reports that Danish farmers are seriously affected by the ceaseless drought. If the drought lasts as long as in 1992, total losses could rise to millions of euros. Precipitation in Denmark is still a no-show, and many experts are already making comparisons with the extreme drought in 1992, when agricultural yields dropped by 23 per cent. According to regional newspaper Fyens from Funen, the drought affects growers of a variety of crops, including potatoes. For example, potato grower Johnny Larsen from Blemmemølle, on the isle of Bornholm, is very worried. He installed a pump that provides his thirsty potato plants with water, but that does require power, costing him unforeseen expenses. Chairperson Carl Heiselberg of industry organisation Danske Kartofler, reports potato growers throughout Denmark are faced with these problems. According to him, 80 to 90 per cent of the total potato area is not getting enough water. Read more