Spud Special: Thoughts turn to herbicide choices

Having spent a good part of last two weeks in the dust bowl of North Yorkshire, where 15-20mm of rain would be much welcomed, I was greeted at the border by the usual rain. In General potato growers north of border though have not got much to complain about, with most able to plant relatively uninterrupted into reasonable soil temperatures.

Cultivations have been tricky and have to be judged on a field by field basis. The deep ridging operation, regardless of prior cultivations, has often brought up raw, consolidated soil meaning more use of the bed tiller than desired and clod where this has been allowed to bake out before bed preparation.

Crop development under ground has remained slow. Unchitted, fleeced crops planted in March on the east coast look like making it out of ground in the next 7 days, up to 7 weeks after planting. Open crops are probably going to be 7-10 days behind with sprouts finally coming away from the tuber.

Hopefully the dormancy of seed at planting means that, physiologically, the tubers will behave as they have been in cold store for another month rather than seeing the emergence and little potato issues of last season. Later planted crops will hopefully emerge in a more normal time frame.

See more