7 August 1998

Yields up with phosphates

PHOSPHATE seed treatment could increase yields and help manage tuber size, says Profarma. It is testing two experimental seed treatments in its Select Agronomy trials across the country.

"Yield responses have been as high as 10t/ha over untreated plots," says company technical manager Mark Palmer.

At the Belchers Tibberton Manor farm, near Newport, Salop, total yield response is more modest, averaging 6-7t/ha (2.8 t/acre), but marketable yields improved significantly.

Baking variety Saxon increased total yield from 54t/ha (22t/acre) untreated to 60.6t/ha (24.5t/acre) in plots that had 1.0 litre/ha of product EXPFZ01 applied to seed tubers at planting, mixed in with normal liquid seed-treatments. Most of this increase is seen in the target size range of 45-65mm, notes Mr Palmer.

The product could be available to UK growers next year if results show it works consistently under UK conditions, says Profarma.