SULPHURIC ACID beats other desiccants as the preferred choice for potato growers this season, according to an industry poll.

Over half (56%) of respondents said they would use acid as their chosen desiccant in the poll carried out on the specialist website www.potatocrop.com.

Of the remainder, 22% intended to use Spotlight (carfentrazone-ethyl), 11% said that they would be using Reglone (diquat) and a further 11% would be using Harvest (glufosinate-ammonium).

“Acid has been the top desiccant for many years as it is very rapid acting, destroying the haulm and reducing any further risk of disease spread,” said Jo Palmer who edits the website.

“Other desiccants are slower-acting and therefore should be mixed with a strong protectant blight fungicide with known zoospore activity.”

The wet August means more growers want to desiccate their crops where yield, market and processing specifications have been met so that tuber blight risk can be minimised, she said.