Early seed potato harvest could help prevent dry rot

SRUC consultant Dr Stuart Wale has said that an early harvest is likely to reduce the risk of silver scurf, black dot, gangrene, and skin spot developing in store, but not dry rot, which can be more of a problem on susceptible varieties following an early harvest.

Dr Wale urged growers to have a conversation with their seed suppliers sooner rather than later to discuss treatment.

He said: “For maximum disease reduction in storage, Gavel should be applied as soon as possible after harvest, preferably within 48 hours.

“If you leave the conversation with your seed supplier until the spring there may not be any treated seed left and there are no options for treatment out of store or at planting.”

“Poor skin set, warm tubers, and store condensation all increase dry rot risk. In seed crops this can be minimised by treating with a fungicide into storage or at grading.

“Judging the need for treatment should be based on varietal susceptibility to the disease, previous experience of disease on a specific variety and presence of the disease in the seed from which the crop was grown

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