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Preparation is key

Potatoes
20.07.2017

By Scott Mathew, Senior Solutions Development Lead  @HortApplication

Prior to and at planting, there are a couple of things you can do to greatly reduce the incidence of pests and diseases in your crop.

Identify current status

Firstly, prior to planting, take a look at the paddock you intend to plant in and identify which pests and diseases have been present in the past, taking particular notice of any soil-borne diseases.

Prepare area

Then, prepare the area to be cropped by removing any weeds or self-sown potato plants that may be present. Viruses, insect pests and diseases can harbour in weeds and self-sown plants that can then be transferred to the new crop.

Rotations

Finally, avoid continuous cropping of potatoes in the same paddock (allow a minimum 2 years between crops) which will help to reduce the build-up of pests and diseases in the soil.

Choice of seed & treatment

At planting, selecting the right seed and seed treatment can considerably increase your crops chance of survival.

Look to plant certified seed whenever possible. This seed is grown under strict hygiene regulations and will reduce the risk of introducing seed-borne pest and diseases in to the new crop.

When considering which fungicide to use either as a seed treatment (MAXIM®) or in-furrow (AMISTAR® 250SC) you will need to consider where the source of infection is likely coming from. Potatoes can carry disease on the seed piece or can be infected from a soil borne disease carried over in the soil. 

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