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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SOILS

How to identify and encourage worms to improve soils

Earthworms are a key measure of soil health, as they can mobilise locked-up minerals, help drainage and spread organic matter to improve soil structure. Therefore, we travelled to one of…

POTATOES

Potato grower uses new nematocide to tackle PCN in salad crops

A new liquid nematocide product is giving a Norfolk potato company the option to tackle potato cyst nematode (PCN) levels in its salad potato crops for the first time. Holkham…

CROP MANAGEMENT

How four arable farmers made their farms more resilient

Tough times are ahead after Brexit and having a more resilient cropping system will be the key to arable farms weathering the storms. Here we take a look at how four…

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.…

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IRRIGATION

Why potato growers need to be better prepared for drought

Farmers and growers are being urged to plan and manage their use of irrigation this year, as concerns about the effect of continued dry conditions on water supplies mount. The…

DISEASE MANAGEMENT

Why cultural control is key to keeping potato blight at bay

The strains of blight that potato growers face in protecting their crops are becoming ever more aggressive, as only the fittest survive. A good example is the recent strain 36A2.…

POTATOES

AHDB trial helps farmer tackle major potato challenges

Growing potatoes has its challenges, and three years ago, one Suffolk grower was seeking solutions to problems such as potato cyst nematodes (PCN) and controlling weeds without linuron, as well…

WEED MANAGEMENT

Mechanical weeders: What are the options?

Mechanical weeders could be one way to manage weeds that are proving more difficult to tackle because of resistance and a dwindling number of actives. However, with several different models…

WEED MANAGEMENT

Rule reminder: Key pesticide stewardship guidelines

Plant protection product 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 key actives…

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…

Insights

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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…

POTATOES

Are 100t/ha potato crops possible?

Potato yields in the UK appear to be faltering and one expert believes a yield competition like that seen with wheat could help the sector get closer to three-digit yield…

ARABLE

5 ways new tech can improve pesticide applications

With pressure on plant protection products from regulators and the growing problem of resistant weeds, pests and diseases, it is increasingly important to use them as accurately and effectively as…

PEST MANAGEMENT

How resistant varieties can tackle potato cyst nematode

Potato growers battling potato cyst nematode (PCN) problems are set to benefit from significant breeding efforts into producing fresh varieties resistant to the key nematode species Globodera pallida. Some promising varieties…

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…

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