02 March 2022
Agronomist stresses importance of timing
NEW fields rented by growers as clean potato land bring new weed management challenges and agronomist Rob Ramsay has stressed the importance of starting out with clean land.
Rob, who provides agronomy on around 160ha of fresh and processing potato crops as part of 1,600ha he crop-walks in north Lincolnshire, said: "We're often up against unknowns when dealing with management of new land, in terms of weed burdens among other factors, so beginning with clean land is important.
Rob recommends using Shark (carfentrazone-ethyl) for broadleaved weed control plans but stressed that, as with diquat, timing is key.
"While it doesn't have any grassweed activity as such, it picks up on those weeds that residual chemistry is a bit weaker on, and gives us a good, clean start to the crop, helping it to get away strongly. And if the weed burden is low, there is scope to tweak the rate a little, perhaps reducing it to 0.3 or even 0.25 litres/ha if dealing with only small weeds, which is often the case.
"Potato land rents aren't cheap, so it's important to invest what's necessary to get maximum yields. Add a residual such as Artist (flufenacet + metribuzin) or Praxim (metobromuron), plus perhaps Defy (prosulfocarb), for the addition of grassweed and further broadleaved weed control, and we have a good belt-and-braces approach for a clean start to the crop."
To read our fuller feature, see the March issue of Potato Review. You can subscribe here.