7 March 1997

Spud starch boost

FOLIAR phosphate can lift starch content in potatoes and improve storage and cooking quality, says Lambson Agricultural Services.

Quoting new Continental work the firm says its Cutonic FP56 increased average starch levels by 1% to 15.8% in German trials. The foliar phosphate also boosted yield by 6%. Dutch trials on four starch varieties found similar results.

Soil applied phosphate fertiliser is said to have a limited effect on the level or quality of starch, probably because of its relative immobility.

The work suggests foliar phosphate could have a significant role in improving the starch profile of varieties used by processors, says technical director Alan Hughes. &#42