Spuds turn out surprisingly well
POTATOES, all Rosetta for crisping, were all lifted by Oct 1 in ideal conditions with a relatively kind contract price underpinning an aver-age yield of about 45t/ha (18t/acre).
"It is surprisingly good given how dry it had been," says Mr Manners. The farm has no irrigation. "They went in really well in good conditions, and I suspect that helped keep them going until the end of August rain when they went mad."
Tramline trials adding an extra 38kg/ha (30 units/acre) of N to that indicated from experience and bringing the total to 256kg/ha (205 units/acre) once again seemed worthwhile. "It gave us a consistent 0.5t/acre more all round. I am told that is not significant, but I shall certainly do it again, though not on a large area yet."
Cambridge University Potato Growers Research Association suggests that it is feasible to plough all the N in at planting, he adds. Up to now he has applied half in solid form at planting and half as liquid at emergence.
"I expect we will now follow that advice, though the extra will still go on as a spray."
His fixed price/fixed tonnage contract with Walkers has been particularly welcome this year.
• Most drilling contracted.
• Swift cereal & rape emergence.
• Winter linseed introduced.
• Oilseed rape area doubled.
• Riband dropped.
• Bunt surprise in Reaper.
• Potato contract welcome.
• Nitrogen trial promising.