Know How / Potatoes / Crop management

From calculating fertiliser requirements, managing pest threats such as potato cyst nematode, and keeping on top of diseases including potato blight, there are significant decisions to be made on potato agronomy throughout the growing season. Keep up-to-date on how to tackle these issues and find out what new technology has to offer the professional potato grower in today’s market.

Case studies

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POTATOES

Video: Potato planting races ahead in rejigged farm rotation

Potato planting was racing ahead in south Somerset this month, after farm manager Ollie Blackburn rejigged his crop rotation to improve soil fertility and structure for his spuds. He hopes…

POTATOES

How a biotic farmer deals with insect pests and weeds

Growing top-quality seed potatoes is a challenge no matter how you farm. But not many would consider growing them without any insecticide, herbicide, fungicide or synthetic fertiliser – yet that’s…

POTATOES

Video: How a US potato grower is slashing pesticide use

Growing potatoes on a commercial scale with virtually zero synthetic inputs would seem impossible, but this is exactly what one US farmers has achieved using what he calls “biotic farming”,…

CROP MANAGEMENT

How and why a farmer trained to do his own agronomy

Benchmarking against other farmers is a great way to identify cost savings and it was the starting point for Cornish farmer Ashley Jones's journey to train as an agronomist. Having…

CROP MANAGEMENT

How the new Monitor Farm plans to scrutinise cropping costs

The AHDB’s new Wisbech Monitor Farm hosts, father and son Andrew and Sam Melton, are focusing on the challenges to profitability as they start their three-year stint as part of…

IRRIGATION

How irrigation is changing on an AHDB potato demo farm

The economic and environmental costs associated with irrigating 440ha of potatoes at AHDB’s Strategic Potato (Spot) Farm North prompted a rethink on the best way to maintain product quality in…

Practical advice

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DISEASE MANAGEMENT

Controlling blight without mancozeb: 6 potential solutions

While mancozeb appears to have a stay of execution for at least this season, just how much product will be available for blight control in potatoes remains unclear. Some mancozeb-containing…

POTATOES

What potato seed treatment changes mean for application

A further narrowing of the potato seed treatment options and application methods available to growers is putting a focus on liquid products where seed-borne rhizoctonia control is required. While there…

POTATOES

5 tips on using Nemathorin to control nematodes in spuds

Growers using Nemathorin for the first time this spring to control nematodes in potato crops are being urged to carefully follow the guidelines on its safe use. The loss of…

PEST MANAGEMENT

Why wildflowers could cut aphid-spread viruses in potatoes

Wildflowers grown in strips through potato crops could control disease-carrying aphids and may help growers faced with a dwindling number of insecticides. Areas of wildflowers grown in the headlands and…

COMPLIANCE

Rule reminder: Key pesticide stewardship guidelines

Pesticide stewardship campaigns are now at the heart of industry efforts to prevent further losses of under-threat active ingredients. Here, we give a reminder of the stewardship guidelines or information…

PEST MANAGEMENT

4 tips to monitor insect populations to aid pest management

Identifying and monitoring insect populations can benefit growers, providing them with knowledge of the abundance of species on farm so a pest management system can be integrated. Mark Ramsden, senior…

Insights

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NVZS

The rules for arable farming in an NVZ in England

Nitrate vulnerable zones (NVZs) account for about 55% of land in England, making it more likely than not that a farming enterprise is within a designated NVZ. So with NVZs…

CROP MANAGEMENT

Analysis: How Brexit affects farmers' access to pesticides

Adequate resources and a more pragmatic, science-based approach by UK regulators will be crucial to growers gaining better access to crop-protection tools after Brexit. Over recent years, plenty of criticism…

SOILS

Why regular liming can raise profits by up to £436/ha/year

A new study has highlighted the benefit of a long-term liming strategy in arable rotations, with regular applications shown to significantly increase farm profitability. Agricultural soils become acidic naturally and…

DISEASE MANAGEMENT

Mancozeb: Why the potato industry must prepare for its loss

Despite its recent stay of execution, there is little hope for sustained use of multisite fungicide mancozeb beyond the 2023 growing season, and potato growers are urged to start planning…

POTATOES

Four new potato products offer hope to growers

A range of new potato products will soon be available to growers, equipping them with an improved chemical armoury to control blight, weeds and soil-borne pests. More than 10 actives…

TECHNOLOGY

Round-up of 9 arable apps that can benefit farmers

Whether it’s selecting which varieties to drill, using data to determine input timings or ensuring machinery and equipment is safe to use, there is a constant supply of new apps…

PEST MANAGEMENT

Nematicide Red Tractor rules for farmers explained

Potato and sugar beet growers have to comply with the Best Practice Protocol for nematicides if they are part of the Red Tractor assurance scheme. The protocol, which applies to…

IRRIGATION

Arable Horizons: How farmers can help secure water needs

Water availability for agricultural use is forecast to come under increasing pressure as higher demand and climate change put pressure on supplies. The Adaptation Sub Committee of the Committee on…

POTATOES

Why non-flail potato desiccation is still an option post-diquat

While the loss of diquat is a setback for potato growers, there are still viable chemical options for destroying potato haulm, according to early results from this season’s AHDB desiccation…

POTATOES

How data-driven tools and training can lift potato yields

Data collection and analysis is playing an increasing role in modern crop production. Farmers Weekly explores how a digital tool and expert-led training can help improve yields and cut waste…

TECHNOLOGY

How French spraying tech can slash herbicide spend by 80%

French kit maker Kuhn is moving into high-tech solutions such as spot-spraying, offering farmers dramatically increased application accuracy and decreased production costs. It is in response to more established competitors bringing…

NUTRITION AND FERTILISER

A round-up of enhanced urea fertilisers and additives

Enhanced urea fertilisers and urease additives could soon have a greater role on arable farms as the government looks to slash ammonia losses through its Clean Air Strategy. The UK…

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