Trials show it’s safe to use key herbicide on Elland potatoes

Farmers growing Elland potatoes are set to benefit from another herbicide option this season, after tests show a key pre-emergence active can be safely used.

Metribuzin is key component of residual herbicide programmes in potatoes offering activity against meadow grasses and some broad-leaved.

However, some potato cultivars are sensitive to the herbicide, especially red- and white-skinned types. 

See also: Gene-edited potatoes edge closer to tackling sector challenges

To assess whether the herbicide can be safely used on a range of new varieties, Adama has spent several years carrying out tests.

Dr Bill Lankford, the firm’s herbicides technical specialist confirmed that results showed that the herbicide can be safely used on Elland.

Elland is an early maincrop variety that is both resistant and tolerant to one of the key species of potato cyst nematode – G pallida.

He adds that initial results from 2023 indicate that an additional eight varieties didn’t suffer metribuzin sensitivity to pre-emergence applications at both 0.75kg/ha and 1.5kg/ha rates on sandy loam and clay loam soils.

The eight varieties are Baby Lou, Georgina, King Russet, Lucera, Soraya, Tyson, Edison and Babylon.

“At present, the latter results are provisional, with more trials scheduled to take in due course to validate the findings,” explains Bill.

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