AHDB host desiccation events to aid growers

Friday, 9 August 2019

AHDB Potatoes is to host a range of events designed to help growers fine-tune their desiccation programme following the loss of diquat.

This ban has had significant ramifications for multiple grower’s desiccation strategies, due to its common usage, and the limited alternatives available that are as effective and economical.

In response to this potential ban, AHDBs Strategic Farm programme has been conducting national demonstration trials to investigate alternative desiccants and combinations of these that growers can use in face of the popular herbicides absence.

Last season it became apparent that the EU Commission would be making the decision not to renew the approval of Diquat. AHDB was able to act quickly, by adjusting a herbicide trial on Strategic Potato (SPot) Farm North to include alternative desiccation strategies.

The results of the subsequent trial provided a useful insight as AHDB planned replicated multi-site trials across the country for 2019. The trials look at both chemical and mechanical options, and focus on dealing with factors that can make desiccation challenging – such as heavy soils and indeterminate varieties.

This season’s trials work is currently underway across four of our current strategic farms, including: SPot North, South, East and West – with additional work being carried out in Scotland and Wales.

As a result of which, AHDB are hosting a number of Desiccation events that will give growers and agronomists the chance to see in-field replicated trials, the effects of available chemicals, flailing machinery and the obligatory tea, coffee and refreshments you can expect.

The venues for desiccation days are as follows:

Strategic Potato Farm South, Somerset – 15 August

Strategic Potato Farm North, N Lincs. – 29 August 2019

Elveden Estate, Suffolk – event date TBC

Strategic Potato Farm West, Shropshire – event date TBC

Aberdeenshire – event date TBC