Friday, December 6, 2019

New guidance for potato in-furrow treatment

November 6, 2019 by  
Filed under Crops

New recommendations to help potato growers optimise Amistar in-furrow applications may soon be on the way following an event this summer.

A new planter nozzle design – instigated by Syngenta, Team Sprayers and Grimme – was showcased at the Potatoes in Practice event held at Dundee. The configuration has both nozzles strategically placed to spray and mix into the soil after the potato is planted.

Previous models – with cone nozzles in the front and back of the shoe – sprayed into the open furrow before the seed potato was placed – and again on to the soil after the tuber was covered. But the front nozzle was prone to clogging with soil.

“We have been doing intensive testing to see whether hollow cone or low drift nozzles work best for application,” says  Syngenta technical manager Michael Tait, who has been investingating optimum water volumes on modern belt planters at higher speeds.

“Previously planters were typically smaller and slower, standard practice was to recommend the minimum possible water volumes. It was often a trade-off of the need for efficacy, with the capability of machinery.

“Today’s machines are bigger and faster, with the capacity to carry more and with growers geared up to efficiency of operations to get the best possible results. With the ability to apply at a water volume of 100 l/ha, we can potentially move towards optimum efficacy.”

After application trials with the new equipment at the start of the season, researchers have been assessing effects of different techniques on emergence and ground cover – as well as monitoring disease throughout the season.

Data from independent trials on rhizoctonia control should be available for British Potato 2019 at Harrogate, says Mr Tait. Meanwhile, reports on diseases which develop over time in storage, such as black dot, will be released at next year’s Potato Science meetings.

“Our intention is to improve disease control by working with machinery specialists and evolving growers’ recommendations, to achieve the best possible disease control in practice.”

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