Sustainability and stewardship go hand-in-hand.
The potato industry is facing many challenges, not all of them by choice. It’s goes without saying that any crop protection product must be used in a responsible manner, not just to grow food but to protect ourselves, flora and fauna.
Growing systems are shifting from exclusively chemical-based crop protection approach to an integration of cultural controls and biorational products. In other words, sustainability through ICM (Integrated Crop Management). At Certis, we want to support you in ensuring sustainable and best practice crop production
Practical checks when thinking of treating seed
Growers are advised to have seed health professionally checked and discuss results with their agronomist before making the decision to apply seed treatment
Quality of Seed
- Check for disease incidence and severity including any tuber damage
- Health of Tuber (Good quality & vigour)
- Check tuber temperature, especially if coming out of cold storage; minimum 6°C
- Assess potential for damage to tubers and /or sprouts when treating
- Has the seed been cut? If yes, wait for wound (cut) to heel before treating
Other seed treatments
- Check history of other treatments with seed supplier.
- Check product label of product intended to use for any restrictions or sequences
Seed can be weakened due to these factors without showing any visual signs, tubers may also be inherently weak due to generic reasons.
Practical steps when preparing to treat Potato seed tubers
Steps to take before using a tuber treatment.
- Always carry out a risk assessment; for the operator, the consumer and the environment
- Consider the safety implications of applying the product
- Read and interpret the product label.
Legal & Safety
- Always read the product label before use
- Ensure the working area is a safe zone
- Wear PPE if applicable
- Have a First Aid kit available
- Applicator Calibration.
Factors affecting crop establishment
- There is always the potential for seed treatments to interact with seed tubers and / or other chemical treatments (used in conjunction or in sequence) particularly if seed is not dormant when treated.
- De-sprouting may adversely influence the performance of the seed treatment
- Check conditions of use, maximum dose, number of treatments, latest time of application.
- Are tubers free from soil deposits?
- Planting into wet, cold seedbeds, especially at excessive depth will delay and reduce emergence.
- Heavy rainfall after planting could have a similar effect.
- Seed treatments can exacerbate negative affects if “eyes” remain in prolonged contact with the chemical.
Final check list!
Before starting treatment ask yourself the following questions
- Do I need to use a crop protection product?
- Is there a BASIS recommendation?
- Has correct product been selected?
- Have I read and understand the product label?
- Is the Applicator Set up and been Calibrated correctly?
- Do I hold the correct NPTC certificate of competence?
- Record keeping by essential if needed.
- As with crop spraying, a full daily record of tuber treatment should be kept
Guidance for Potato Tuber application equipment
To optimise the efficacy of the application equipment available
To ensure that application occurs with minimal risk to workers and the environment
To identify the strengths and weaknesses of various application methods
Achieving optimum results for treating Seed Potatoes
Roller tables are the preferred method of application
Tubers must be rotating at the point of application to achieve optimum coverage
Evidence shows that higher water volumes (2 lts) gives better coverage, adhesion and deposit of the product
All treatment areas to be enclosed to prevent drift (engineering control)
Drip trays should be situated below the treatment site to catch any waste
It should be possible to stop all machinery on the line via one switch in case of emergency
Key considerations when setting up application equipment for treatment of seed potatoes
What is the intended throughput (tonnes / hour)?
Can all parts of the line handle this throughput?
Can a consistent throughput be maintained?
Can the treatment table be consistently filled across its entire width?
Is the conveyor feeding the roller the same width?
A roller table with variable speed control is best
Will the treatment be applied immediately before tubers enter their final container?
Will the applicator deliver the correct output and maintain an effective spray pattern?
In the event of an emergency, can the line be shut down from one place?
Does the application system have an automatic cut off to stop application if tuber flow ceases?
What action has been taken to prevent accidental contamination to the environment and exposure to workers to spray drift?
Do you have a NPTC PA12 certificate?