Fine-tuning strategies for successful desiccation

Written by cpm from CPM Magazine

Following their first full season of diquat-free desiccation, and armed with greater knowledge gleaned from “real” conditions without a diquat safety net, many potato growers will now have a better understanding of what it takes to achieve good desiccation. Therefore, this season is all about tweaking and fine-tuning those strategies, says James Cheesman, potato and vegetable technical account manager at Belchim. “With just two products available –Belchim’s product, Gozai, as well as Spotlight Plus – it’s all about perfecting your approach and knowing how to get the best out of protoporphyrinogen oxidase inhibitors (PPOs).” Planning is key, namely, having a clear understanding of when you want to lift, he explains. “For example, if you want to lift crops on 1 October, you should be starting desiccation around a month before, depending on the crop canopy. “Desiccation can take up to a month, depending on the variety and the size of the crop – so being patient is key.” John Sarup, co-director of Spud Agronomy has been looking at diquat-free desiccation strategies for the past 10 years. “Early results from flailing followed by the application of a PPO were variable, mainly due to a lack of understanding on how PPOs worked…
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