Potato husbandry for dummies

Brisel

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Midlands
1.4 acres of spuds sown to feed the village back when we were worried about being able to get enough food supplies. I haven’t grown spuds for years and even then it was limited to my garden and let farm land on the Fens. My agronomy is limited to everything I’ve forgotten since BASIS 13 years ago.

Soil type is alkaline gravel and chalk. It had a good plastering with horse muck pre planting. Sown in mid April. The only sprays so far were a pre emergence herbicide of metribuzin, flufenacet and clomazone. 110 kg N and 300 kg MOP on the seedbed. Irrigated with a sprinkler 2-3 weeks ago to give an inch of rain plus the 19.5mm that fell out of the sky last week.

Kestral second earlies on the right. Maris Piper maincrop on the left.

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If it is only the odd plant here and there then my first thought would be something viral meaning it arrived in your seed? However it does look very much like magnesium deficiency. Magphos K to the rescue. OR you can use potato micronutrient complex (FMC?) or similar. Should be pumping them with foliar feed every other week anyway as they definitely respond to it.

Your weed control looks spot on anyway.

Forgotten all the blight control lark now, supposed to use the systemic one at this stage as your canopy expands and grows on up. Then the swap back and forth pair.
 

David.

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
J11 M40
The Sencorex (0r the Centium/Ffct of which I have no experience in spuds) could be the cause if the plants had poked through and caught some spray.
Used to get similar transient discolouration with Gramoxone Sencorex or Linuron mixes, which were permissible up to 30% emerged, and they always outgrew it.
You might expect a deficiency to be more widespread?
Viruses I have seen usually involved leaf rolling and plant stunting.
As always, Epsotop cheap and harmless to try perhaps...
 

Woodlander

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Leicestershire
1.4 acres of spuds sown to feed the village back when we were worried about being able to get enough food supplies. I haven’t grown spuds for years and even then it was limited to my garden and let farm land on the Fens. My agronomy is limited to everything I’ve forgotten since BASIS 13 years ago.

Soil type is alkaline gravel and chalk. It had a good plastering with horse muck pre planting. Sown in mid April. The only sprays so far were a pre emergence herbicide of metribuzin, flufenacet and clomazone. 110 kg N and 300 kg MOP on the seedbed. Irrigated with a sprinkler 2-3 weeks ago to give an inch of rain plus the 19.5mm that fell out of the sky last week.

Kestral second earlies on the right. Maris Piper maincrop on the left.

View attachment 887698
Is it really 13 years since we did the BASIS course? ! [emoji47]. Are there many potatoes grown in your area? That will have an impact on blight risk!
 

Brisel

Member
NFFN Member
Location
Midlands
Is it really 13 years since we did the BASIS course? ! [emoji47]. Are there many potatoes grown in your area? That will have an impact on blight risk!

Time flies! I've signed up for the AHDB Blightwatch. It has already put up one Hutton period warning. Not many potatoes grown around here apart from domestic so pressure should be lower. I was hoping to get away without blight spraying but I don't think that's going to work for long.
 

Bogweevil

Member
Sporadic damage would suggest something intrinsic in the plant/seed tuber. I suspect blackleg is impairing plant function. The answer really does often lie in the soil - check them roots.

Nice crop else, chalkland farmers were obliged to grow a certain acreage in WW2 - good results by the rather low standards of the time were reported.
 

Woodlander

Member
Arable Farmer
Location
Leicestershire
Time flies! I've signed up for the AHDB Blightwatch. It has already put up one Hutton period warning. Not many potatoes grown around here apart from domestic so pressure should be lower. I was hoping to get away without blight spraying but I don't think that's going to work for long.

Not many pots grown in this area. We've been growing a very small area behind the grain store for several years for own use. NPK as per what's available, otherwise grown organic. If we start to see blight come in we will remove the tops and harvest a few weeks later once skins have set. Usually get into September before we need to remove tops.
 

David.

Member
Mixed Farmer
Location
J11 M40
Local private gardens are about the worst blight source, and potato dumps; used to be in Scotland that if you grew commercial certified seed spuds you were not allowed to grow any in the farmhouse garden.
 
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Cowcorn

Member
Mixed Farmer
The damaged plants are only in one area where the ridges aren't so tall so it could be herbicide damage.

High soil pH might mean I'll need a chainsaw to cut the scabs off!
Surely the starving villagers wont be fussy about a few scabs ?? Now that the possibility of shortages has receded unless your boss intends going on a potato based diet cattle feed could be the end result .
Lucky that you are off to pastures new and will be spared the digging and storing .
Best of luck up north break bread in the new lands !!
 

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

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A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...
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