Research reports on herbicides, weeds and the control of volunteer potatoes

AHDB Potatoes-funded research has included trials to assess the crop safety and efficacy of herbicides and work on volunteer control.
The projects have been categorised according to the topics covered, to allow readers to identify the most relevant report(s).

Visit our main page on weeds and volunteer control

Click on a project title below to see more information and download the final report

Integrated weed management

11120044 Potatoes: review of weed control options and future opportunities for UK crops (2019)

  • weed control techniques and their efficacy in different crops, including potatoes
  • weaknesses in the biology of key weed species and how these could be exploited for weed control


 Potential impact of the loss of herbicides due to regulatory changes

R415 Potential impacts of the loss of pesticides on the GB potato industry (2009)

  • assessment of the potential impact of the revision of the pesticide legislation and the implementation of the Water Framework Directive on availability of pesticides. Includes a section on herbicides
  • case study on the impact of reduced pesticide availability on the control of weeds in potato crops 


Crop safety and efficacy of herbicides

R462 Assessment of the crop safety of post-emergence herbicides in a range of potato varieties (2012-2013)

  • tolerance of twenty potato varieties to post-emergence applications of metribuzin, bentazone and a tank mixture of rimsulfuron and metribuzin

R408 Weed control in potatoes (2008-2009)

  • efficacy and crop safety of herbicide programmes based on alternatives to paraquat and higher rates of linuron
  • six replicated small plot trials undertaken during 2008-2009 in the east of England


Control of volunteer potatoes

 R435 Reducing herbicide use in row crops with targeted application methods treating detected weeds in small patches or spots (2010-2012)

The project progressed work started in project R270 (below) 

  • to enable a wider range of formulation types to be used
  • to address a wider range of target weed species in a wider range of crops, particularly onions and leeks
  • to treat patches of weeds as well as using spot applications directed at single weeds

R270 Minimising the environmental impact of weed control in vegetables by weed detection and spot herbicide application (2007-2009) 

  • novel image analysis-based detection and spot spraying systems for volunteer control
  • field trials with both cropped and volunteer potatoes treated with variable doses and volumes of spray (glyphosate) and delivered through a pulsed nozzle system
  • control of volunteer potatoes in carrot and onion crops

 R275 Review of the use of maleic hydrazide (MH) for potato volunteer control (2006)

  • experimental data and anecdotal evidence on effectiveness of volunteer control
  • residues data
  • the alternatives to MH for rotational volunteer control 


Visit our MH page for more information about its use as a sprout suppressant