Soil pathogen clean up


Tuber size, skin quality and processing consistency can all be adversely affected by soil pathogens over the growing season, including black dot on tubers - which has proliferated in repeated late, wet harvest conditions – along with Rhizoctonia solani (black scurf) increasingly affecting plant growth.

Further pressure on potato prices makes attaining any premiums for quality even more important, advised Syngenta Technical Manager, Andy Cunningham.

Potato harvesting

"Soil treatment with Amistar at planting has long been proven to effectively reduce the incidence of pathogens during the growing season, resulting in cleaner and more consistent tubers at harvest," he reported.

Results of recent Syngenta Amistar application research revealed an average 52% increase in yield of marketable tubers over untreated, on multiple sites and successive years of trials. 

In a severe black dot situation, the cleaner Amistar sample showed a 64% increase in the proportion of the tubers with less than 12.5% surface damage. Along with an improvement in cleaner skin finish with every application technique trialed in a severe silver scurf situation, compared to more than half the untreated crop failing a 5% or less surface area affected assessment.

"The research also suggested new recommendations for Amistar application, especially on modern belt planters operating at faster forward speeds," advocated Andy.

These included now making applications routinely at a water volume of 100 l/ha and using a front/rear combination of two nozzles fitted in the planter shoe. "The Lechler TR80 performed consistently well, along with a Lechler FT01 in the front and 02 in the rear mount, especially at higher planting speeds," he added. Hollow cones were also identified as being less susceptible to blockages. 

Full results and new application recommendations are available on the Syngenta website and will be presented at Syngenta Potato Science Live events during the spring.        

Find out more about Potato Science Live events in your area