To ensure high quality yields, potato growers are being reminded that during tuber bulking, foliar nutrition could be key.
In light of high input prices, growers will benefit from maximising nutritional applications, said Chris Bond, commercial technical manager for crop nutrition at FMC: “Particularly, phosphate, potassium, magnesium and manganese.”
Mr Bond stated that plants which receive accurate nutrition during the bulking phase will ensure tubers grow to a marketable size, while also building a potato’s starch content.
“Tuber bulking is an energy demanding period where phosphate has an important role in the formation of ATP, which helps to drive plant energy, so is crucial for helping plants to accumulate biomass.” Though he reminded growers not to underestimate the power of magnesium and manganese either, as these can help create a large and active green canopy.
“As energy is in such high demand during this period, plants need a good canopy that’s actively photosynthesising. So, having a boost of magnesium and manganese is incredibly beneficial,” said Mr Bond.
To gain the most from a yield, Mr Bond recommends that growers apply foliar nutrition products that include KuruS: a highly soluble clear liquid fertiliser, for a good potassium supply.
KuruS can be applied at the start of the tuber bulking phase, with a follow-up application after 10 to 14 days if required. The product also contains sulphur which supports nitrogen utilisation and protein formation.
“Foliar nutrition is particularly beneficial as it delivers nutrients directly to the plant tissue, bypassing the soil. It can also be built into blight programmes, so it isn’t too much of a laborious application process,” said Mr Bond.
He concluded: “This year, conditions have been warm and dry, so most growers have experienced a good establishment period. Foliar nutrition will therefore help growers to capitalise on that potential, and deliver high quality final yields.”