Sprout suppressant experiences shared

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22 December 2021
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Sprout suppressant experiences shared

GROWERS, foggers and end users at British Potato 2021 in Harrogate at the end of November, were happy to share their experiences of using a new sprout suppressant product in stored crops from the 2020 harvest.

The general feedback from the first full season using Biox-M (spearmint oil) was one of quiet confidence for the future, the company said.

Making a significant change on farm is never straightforward, and using a product with very different characteristics to CIPC for the first time, posed some challenges for store keepers. However, recognising that every store is different, the foggers were quick to refine treatments to suit the particular requirements of individual stores.

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What was in effect a 2 million+ tonne experiment by the industry proved remarkably successful.

"Biox-M has been used widely in the fresh sector for nearly a decade. There was already considerable industry experience, but we had not previously treated so many new stores in a single season. The success is a credit to all involved - growers, foggers, store keepers, processors and packers, who readily shared information throughout the season to ensure that the crop was safely stored through until mid-2021," a company spokesman said.

Biox-M has proved an effective sprout control treatment, he added. The focus for this season is to refine best practice for each store, to improve fog distribution during treatment, to extend the return intervals between treatments and to reduce fan use following treatment.

Biox-M is 100% spearmint oil, a natural product, approved for use as a potato sprout suppressant. It has been approved for use in the UK since November 2012 and is in widespread use on the continent and in other markets around the world. It is applied to stores as a hot fog, and turns to vapour in store.

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