2020 harvest recap and best practices for improving plant health

{Sponsored} This year was one for the books in the most unexpected ways. Growers overall didn’t have the usual pressure for diseases and pests, but adjustments were necessary all season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Part of being prepared for the following season is understanding how things turned out this year. With the favorable weather overall in 2020, growers didn’t see the type of losses that happened in 2019 due to frost. Since many growers started harvest early, they were able to pull an average or slightly above average harvest this year.

Labor was a challenge for some growers; while not the primary concern for 2020, it could become a bigger issue as time presses on.

Going into harvest, having the best tubers is always important, but ensuring that they’re also ready to store well is the best help that growers can give themselves. Curtis Rainbolt, technical services representative at BASF Corporation, has several suggestions for how growers can get the most out of their harvests.

Potato HarvestPlant health

Apply chemistries that promote plant health in addition to preventing or treating pests or diseases so that only the potatoes going into storage are as healthy as possible.

In Idaho, where Rainbolt works, growers often struggle with white mold, and Rainbolt says it’s the biggest challenge the region faces most years. An option for white mold is Endura® fungicide (FRAC Group 7). With over a decade on the market, Endura® fungicide has kept its efficacy for growers.

Rainbolt recommends growers take care with timing applications for best results. “Apply just prior to row closure if moderate disease pressure holds, or growers might need to add another product as well if there is higher pressure,” Rainbolt said. While it’s not a very new chemistry, Rainbolt says it can still be very effective, especially given its unique mode of action.

For rhizoctonia control, consider Priaxor® fungicide, applied in-furrow. Since rhizoctonia can impact yield as well as cause unsightly blemishes, preventing it from impacting the harvest and potatoes in storage is important to consider at the start of the season.

For domestic production, Provysol® fungicide, a new FRAC group 3 chemistry from BASF, is a new way to prevent early blight for growers who don’t need to worry as much about MRLs. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about Provysol® fungicide this season,” Rainbolt said.

Ultimately, as growers know, putting the healthiest tubers possible into storage is one of the best ways to finish harvest.

Improve storage

Use a chemistry that slows desiccation such as Rely® 280 herbicide. This particular herbicide is tough on broadleaf weeds and grasses and can be tankmixed with other crop protection products. In potatoes specifically, it acts as a desiccant to improve late season bulking.

Ultimately, controlling what can be controlled is the best bet growers have for wrapping up harvest and moving into storage season.

To learn more about how BASF can help growers, visit https://agriculture.basf.us/crop-protection/use-areas/crops/potato.html.

Always read and follow label directions. Endura® fungicide, Priaxor® fungicide, Provysol® fungicide, and Rely® fungicide are registered trademarks of BASF.

© 2020 BASF Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

75 Applewood Dr. Ste. A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345


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