New Zealand – Potatoes :

Introduction

Potato production requires that a crop be in the ground for around 6-7 months. In this time its root structure develops below the ground very poorly. With potatoes the ability to harvest nutrients and moisture is limited by a poor root system. Potato yields have been improving and now range from 50-80 tonnes per hectare. ComCat was applied to three paddocks to look at yield responses. These trials were established in November of 2008 in the area of Mid Canterbury on commercial arable land owned or leased by the potato farmer. These paddocks were monitored regularly for visual developments throughout the season.

To apply ComCat Row + ComCat Wetting Agent at the rate of 200gms/ha in 200ltr/ha of water via commercial spray vehicle, when the potato plant reached the growth stage of 3-4 leaves and applied for a second application at the same rate one week before flowering. This was done over three paddocks leaving an untreated part of each paddock.

The growing season was above average in temperature October to January but below average in rainfall, with a wet February resulting in lower than average potato yields for the season. The potatoes were assessed from three weeks prior to harvest to several days prior to harvest. The collecting of potatoes via digging eight two metre rows 25 metres apart up each of the treated and untreated rows from the paddock and measuring weights and lengths of the potato.

Graph One

 

Trial was measured one week from harvest there was an average of 17% increase in yield, 5% more potatoes and 25% less potatoes under 65mm in ComCat treated plots.

Graph Two

 

Trial was measured one week from harvest, there was an average of 20.6% increase in yield, 18% more potatoes and 14% less potatoes under 65mm in ComCat treated plots.

Graph Three

 

Trial was measured one week from harvest there was an average of 19.5% increase in yield, 6.5% more potatoes and 40% less potatoes under 65mm in ComCat treated plots.

Conclusion:

ComCat applied to three sights showed there were positive results.The average increase from the three trial sites was:

  • 19% increase in yield
  • 9.8% increase in tuber numbers
  • 26.3% less potatoes measuring less than 65mm

Economics of Using


60 tonnes of potatoes $200=$12,000/ha

19% of 60 = 11.4 tonnes/ha $2280/ha

Total cost of treatment including spraying vehicle costs $220/ha

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