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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NUTRITION AND FERTILISER

Potato yields and soils improved by compost on Norfolk farm

Tony Bambridge is increasing his potato yields and improving his light Norfolk soils by the use of green waste compost, which is especially important in this summer's dry weather. Potato…

POTATOES

Video: Early potato harvest start is worst for 40 years

Brothers Peter and Philip Le Maistre are sixth-generation Jersey farmers and for them this potato season has been the worst since covering spuds with plastic started to be used on…

POTATOES

Why one potato farmer is cutting his N fertiliser rates

Somerset potato grower Ollie Blackburn is cutting his nitrogen application by 30kg/ha next season on his potatoes after an on-farm trial pinpointed the ideal application for maximising yields while minimising waste.…

POTATOES

Drip irrigating potatoes promises more crop per drop

Potato growers could get 15% more yield and cut water usage by the same percentage by switching from rain guns to drip irrigation, according to on-farm trial results. That’s what…

ARABLE

Work under way to slash water wastage in potato fields

Tramline compaction is causing potato growers to waste up to 14% of the water falling on their fields, and also risks nutrient and spray pollution into the environment. Water flowing…

ARABLE

How slug-killer ferric phosphate is being used on farm

With the loss of methiocarb from the slug control armoury, and the increasing pressures on metaldehyde, growers are looking at new ways to tackle the perennial slug problem. Slugs are one of…

Practical advice

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CROP MANAGEMENT

How to sample soil for potato cyst nematodes

Potato cyst nematode costs the industry more than £25m each year and accurate soil testing is a critical aid in managing the pest to minimise crop losses. At low levels…

HARVEST AND CROP STORAGE

10 ways to improve potato storage management

Storage is a crucial part of the potato production cycle, helping growers meet the demand for their crops throughout the year, but if carried out poorly it can be economically…

VARIETY SELECTION

Three potato varieties show more tolerance to nematodes

Newer potato varieties such as Royal, Lanorma and Iodea are showing useful levels of resistance to the spud industry’s biggest pest problem, potato cyst nematode (PCN). Graham Tomalin, agronomist at…

CROP MANAGEMENT

How to get more from your on-farm crop trials

By taking some practical steps to trial design, one researcher believes farmers can improve the robustness of their tramline and split field trials, leading to more informed cropping decisions. In…

ARABLE

How fungicide data is helping to combat potato blight strain

Fungicide use data reveal that potato growers have already adapted their strategies to manage a new resistant strain of blight, although more needs to be done to combat the threat…

ARABLE

3 fungicide strategies to fight resistant potato blight

Potato farmers will have to rethink their blight programmes this season after the dramatic increase in a new strain of blight last year that is resistant to a key fungicide.…

Insights

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ARABLE

7 essential arable farming apps

Whether it's looking up the nitrogen requirements for wheat on chalk or helping with the safe use of drones, there is a constant pipeline of smartphone apps promising to make…

VARIETY SELECTION

Three potato varieties show more tolerance to nematodes

Newer potato varieties such as Royal, Lanorma and Iodea are showing useful levels of resistance to the spud industry’s biggest pest problem, potato cyst nematode (PCN). Graham Tomalin, agronomist at…

PEST MANAGEMENT

Three product approvals set to benefit root crop growers

With many crop protection products under threat, it is welcome news that root crop growers are set to benefit from three new potential approvals over the next two years. Farmers…

ARABLE

How fungicide data is helping to combat potato blight strain

Fungicide use data reveal that potato growers have already adapted their strategies to manage a new resistant strain of blight, although more needs to be done to combat the threat…

NUTRITION AND FERTILISER

Why phosphate fertiliser use on crops may have to change

Current best-practice strategies for phosphate fertiliser use in arable crops are based on feeding the soil to feed the crop, rather than the crop. As a result, the guidance in…

POTATOES

Video: Cultivating potato tramlines cuts run-off

Potato growers could slash water use and preserve soils by using a machine to stop water flowing down compacted tramlines. A trial conducted at the Elveden Estate last season as…

ARABLE

Natural predators have key role in killing resistant aphids

Natural predators could have a vital role in controlling insecticide-resistant peach potato aphids, with new research suggesting they are more susceptible to attack than those without the mutation. Pyrethroid resistance…

ARABLE

Arable Horizons: Biocontrol - will holy grail be reality?

The use of sophisticated biological pest control methods in glasshouses has been a huge success story, helping growers of high-value crops reduce or even eliminate the use of chemical pesticides.…

CROP MANAGEMENT

3 pesticide approvals to look out for in 2017

Two herbicides and a potato blight fungicide are some of the key pesticides set to gain approval for the coming spring.  It may often seem that all it’s all about…

POTATOES

Potato roundtable: 6 challenges facing the potato industry

Potato growers face many challenges in the coming years including uncertainty over the changes in water abstraction rules from the early 2020s and the potential loss of valuable pesticide actives…

POTATOES

Video: How cutting nitrogen may improve potato yields

Potato growers could achieve higher crop yields while slashing their nitrogen fertiliser inputs, according to the latest findings from independent farm-scale trials. Work at the AHDB Potatoes strategic potato – or…

ARABLE

All you need to know about water abstraction licence reform

There is a misconception that water is everywhere in the UK, but it is fast becoming a scarce resource with an uncertain future. With an increasing population comes more mouths…

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