Limiting soil compaction key to success with potatoes

According to CAFRE advisor Robin Bolton soil compaction is increasingly blamed for below par yields of potatoes.

He said: “As planting gets under way growers are advised to take care to ensure tyre pressures are set correctly. Limit the amount of field traffic where possible, and avoid working damp soils which are more prone to damage.

Bolton was also keen to highlight seed management prior to planting. He said: “It is important to carefully check the seed as it arrives on farm, and have a sample hot boxed to determine the presence of disease and overall sprouting vigour.”

He advised: “Treat seed with a fungicide pre-planting with the aim of reducing disease transmission and maximizing marketable yield. Monitor seed carefully as conditions warm up, particularly where cold storage is not available, to prevent any deterioration of quality which can occur quickly at this time of year prior to planting.”

“Once conditions allow planting to begin check ridges regularly to ensure correct seed spacing and planting depth for your variety are being achieved, to ensure optimum plant populations and even emergence.”