2014-02-05   facebook twitter rss

Managing Stored Potatoes

Management of stored potatoes requires regular inspections to check tuber quality and store conditions. David Hudson suggests that you shouldn’t apply CIPC ‘by the calendar’.

For effective sprout control, accepted advice is now not to apply CIPC as soon as there are signs of renewed sprouting. This first response is often just slight movement or swelling of the sprout after dormancy break. This new tissue readily absorbs CIPC already in the store’s atmosphere and begins to blacken at the growing point and die back, changing colour as it does.

Potato Sprout

Uncontrolled sprouts; pearly white and a bit swollen. Advice is to come back in a week to look again

David Hudson suggests that you shouldn’t apply CIPC ‘by the calendar’ or rush in with an additional dose without spending some time observing what is really happening with your stored potato crop. Store managers should spend some time observing what happens to the sprouts.

‘After you first see what you think is sprout regrowth, take a close look with a hand lens. Can you see those brown "CIPC scorch marks"? Don't confuse them with sprouts that have been even gently touched or brushed. These sprouts will also have brown marks on them but they are different to the CIPC scorch. Teach yourself to recognise the difference’ said David.

‘Don't rush in, be prepared to return to the store a week or so later (with your hand lens) and see if you can really see a change in the appearance of sprouts and the emergence of more sprouts.

‘Truly uncontrolled sprouts will be "pearly white" not blackened at the tip, browned, creamy coloured or glassy looking. They also tend to be spear shaped rather than swollen or bulbous.’

Check when the first or previous application was made. Depending on the growing season, variety and store temperature you should not need to re-apply within 6 weeks and certainly not before 4 weeks.

Remember that this season’s new label recommendations for cold stores (those held at 5°C or below) limit treatment to just one application per season.

Keep up to speed on best practice for re-treatment of any crops needing a second dose of CIPC at www.BeCIPCcompliant.com. Remember to ensure all CIPC recommendations are taken from a BASIS qualified advisor and are recorded.

Potato Council

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