Spud Special: Desiccation almost complete

Crops in Scotland are either burnt down or very close to being burnt down. Desiccation options this year were centred on combinations including pulverisation and chemical application particularly within the seed crops.

In ware crops the options for pulverisation were more varied and many crops were being burnt down with split dose diquat which as the weather has turned away from previously bright conditions has given quite favourable results. Although, after desiccation, some areas of regrowth are being observed particularly where the bottom of the stem and leaf was not completely killed or removed.  

The stress that some parts of fields were under during the growing season has highlighted areas affected by issues including in particular rhizoctonia, sclerotinia and alternaria.

Tuber numbers from test digs are showing levels of variation across many areas and varieties. This is making the forecasting of tonnages for the various market outlets difficult for these varieties.

Blight so far this season has not been a serious issue although we have still been finding outbreaks in some areas particularly in volunteers of susceptible varieties within cereal crops.

Aphid levels have in general been low although we have seen numbers of Rose Grain Aphids at higher levels in some parts of Scotland.

The weather that we are now experiencing is variable with prolonged periods of rain. This has softened up ridges that were previously hard and dry. This will help with the forthcoming harvest although hopefully it will not come to too much by harvest leading to problems in store.

Monitoring of crop quality and issues at harvest will be crucial this year to ensure any difficult areas are highlighted and tackled.

On the lighter soils where crops have been burnt down for 3 weeks, waiting for skin-set, these higher amounts of rainfall are leading to levels of soil removal and the concern is that further rain will increase the level of greens.

Many stores have been cleaned down and are now ready for potato harvest although some harvested grain crops are slow to be cleared, this may make drying/early storage space a premium come harvest

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