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New technical guidance

Publication Date: 
7 September 2015

Late Season Irrigation for bruising and skin-set

Download the NEW grower guidance on late season irrigation here

There’s been some heavy rain across many parts of the UK which has reduced soil deficits but now we could be in for a welcome drier and warmer week. Should you be keeping an eye on soil moisture over this period to get the most from your crops?

“It may not be necessary this year for everyone but a late season irrigation regime that maintains the yield potential and maintains the turgor status of tubers will reduce the risk of bruising at harvest,” says Jenny Bashford, AHDB Potatoes’ water specialist.

Recent AHDB Potatoes funded work by Mark Stalham and team at NIAB-CUF has provided more information on appropriate irrigation regimes in the run-up to desiccation and harvest.

Download the NEW grower guidance on late season irrigation here

Focus on the lead up to desiccation or harvest rather than immediately prior to the event.

Crops which are still actively growing in the weeks prior to desiccation should be maintained at a moderate (30-50mm) Soil Moisture Deficit (SMD). This can reduce the risk of bruising and allows a buffer for extreme rainfall events

There was no evidence of a detrimental effect of soil moisture on skin set for correctly managed crops. Nitrogen application and senescence were more important factors.

If crops have senesced completely there is little effect of water on bruising susceptibility.

A link to the full research report is here.

Kind regards,

Jenny Bashford

AHDB Potatoes Knowledge Transfer Executive

Mob: 07500100715



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