As wet weather proves challenging for potato lifting in some regions of the country, growers are being urged to consider management practises to prevent these conditions causing quality issues once crops go into storage.

“Persistent rain across the UK has caused water logging in some areas and there are concerns about how well tubers will store once lifted,” said Morley Benson, Certis’ field sales manager.

“This year reports of scab, black leg and tuber blight are not uncommon and harvest delays are likely to increase this pressure. Therefore, it’s even more important for growers to protect their crops to ensure quality is maintained from storage, to point of sale or planting as seed.

“Ultimately potatoes rarely improve in quality once they are in store, so attention to detail at this stage is key. Ensuring skins are well set, that excess soil is removed and the crop is dry, are all vital in maintaining quality and minimising skin damage before in-store treatment.

“Once in store, the major threat to tuber quality becomes sprouting. And, with 1.2 million tonnes of stored potatoes receiving CIPC treatment annually, and further Be CIPC Compliant guideline restrictions being enforced for 2017/18, cultural controls will be more important than ever before.”