Scotland's crop protection in full swing after extensive rainfall


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09 July 2021
Scotland's crop protection in full swing after extensive rainfall

THE crop protection programme for potatoes is very much in full swing in Scotland, where conditions have been far from ideal for this crop. 

Having had a very dry April, in May Scotland received 170% of the long-term average rainfall, resulting in taxing conditions for growers.

Director and Senior Agronomist at Scottish Agronomy, Eric Anderson, said: “Ware growers who started planting in the colder soil temperatures of April, got through the planting season uninterrupted. However, seed growers who delayed planting waiting for the soils to warm up were caught out by the heavy rain in May. So many seed growers began planting in May, but it was then almost a month before they got back to the same fields. This has given a strong challenge in that potatoes have been emerging over a period of six to seven weeks from planting, whereas normally they would emerge three to four weeks from planting.”

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Crops are now growing very vigorously, with some emerging now into very warm ambient air conditions which means even more rapid growth and challenges from late blight.

Eric said: “With the crop canopy doubling in height almost every seven days, unless growers are using fungicide products with truly systemic activity. then it is difficult to get the new leaves protected against late blight.

"We are also faced with night temperatures which are now commonly above 10oC, an arbitrary threshold in relation to late blight within the crop and weather which is conducive to late blight. It is certainly challenging.”

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