The science of seaweed


04 May 2022
Extract shown to increase yield in salad potatoes

THE Crop Smith Ltd recently released findings of scientific trials on potatoes which revealed that seaweed extract increased the yield on salad potatoes. 

The trials were carried out on potatoes in Northamptonshire in 2021 with the aim of understanding the effects of a programme of CS1 and CS6 on plant performance and to evaluate the crop safety of these products at different rates.

The Crop Smith Ltd produces seaweed extracts and blended products. CS1 is an organic seaweed extract which is high in bioactive compounds while CS6 is a balanced blend of seaweed extract with phosphite and humic acid. Seaweed extracts, phosphites and humic substances have all been demonstrated to have positive effects on growth and yield parameters in potato cropping, according to Technical Director Samantha Brown.

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‘Charlotte’, a second early salad variety which produces uniform oval tubers with yellow, smooth skin, a creamy-yellow flesh and a waxy texture, was used for the trials. It ranks in the top 30 potato varieties grown in the UK with approximately 2,000 hectares planted commercially each year.

No phytotoxic symptoms were observed throughout the trial, even at higher than recommended rates of application for both products. Samantha said the team will continue to evaluate the beneficial outcomes of seaweed extracts and blended products in potato crops. This year, trials are being conducted by external research providers examining the effects of CS1 and Rhizofix, a granular, microbial, in-furrow seed treatment, in maincrop potatoes.

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