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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4 growers' methods of effective cover crop destruction

Cover crops are becoming a mainstream option for growers, but their effective removal is critical to get good spring crop establishment. Farmers Weekly speaks to four growers from across the…


Why an integrated approach is key to potato virus Y threat

Potato Virus Y is dealt with by a zero-tolerance policy at Albanwise Farming in North Yorkshire, where the specialist operation has 40ha of processing ware and 360ha of seed 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…


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…


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”,…


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…

Practical advice

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Tips on how to reduce losses from tuber blight this autumn

Potato growers are urged to remain vigilant against tuber blight as the season draws to a close, with adequate skin set and early store management key to avoiding significant losses.…


How growers can help secure future of bentazone with web tool

A new tool has been introduced to help growers reduce the risk of water pollution and the loss of a vital post-emergence herbicide for pulses and potatoes. Bentazone is a…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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The rules for arable farming in an NVZ in NI and Scotland

Nitrate vulnerable zones exist to protect the environment against potential pollution from fertiliser and manure applications. Each devolved nation has its own rules – so what do arable farmers need…


How to tackle worrying emerging potato blight strains

Breeders believe they have the tools to stay one step ahead of late blight in potatoes, despite concern about new and more aggressive strains emerging across Europe. Since 2000, researchers…


4 slug pellet myths busted for better control

The withdrawal of metaldehyde means growers will soon only have ferric phosphate slug pellets to count on when managing this devastating pest. However, there are a number of myths on…


How an easy-to-use app can help with tight potato margins

At the sharp end of the season, potato maincrops might be increasing or decreasing in value by as much as £100/ha/day as yields increase and segment proportions change. Harvest too…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…

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