Flexibility and peace of mind as mixed weather hits UK potato growers

Zorvec® is playing an important role in north-west England where ProCam County Crops Agronomist John Cairns looks after in excess of 250ha of potatoes.
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Zorvec® is playing an important role in north-west England where ProCam County Crops Agronomist John Cairns looks after in excess of 250ha of potatoes.

For one particular farmer, John says that the longevity of protection from an application of Zorvec chemistry has proved invaluable in two ways.

Firstly, it allowed his contractors to adjust the spraying schedule, moving from a Friday to a Tuesday thanks to the product’s 10-day length of protection.

Secondly, in June, when the weather turned and blight pressure increased quickly, the crop was protected for a longer period when the sprayers couldn’t travel.

“Crops are doubling in size in a week during the rapid growth phase so you need a blight spray that’s good enough to cope with that,” John said.

The crop in question had already had sprays of cymoxanil + mancozeb, amisulbrom and mandipropamid before receiving a treatment of Zorvec Endavia®.

John followed up that programme with a spray of Zorvec Enicade® + amisulbrom as conditions were “still testing after a very blighty week”.

Including amisulbrom to vary the partner chemistry is part of a robust anti-resistance strategy across the programme.

John still has two further Zorvec sprays available which may be used later in the season when disease pressure could climb again. 

He said: “Zorvec did very well for us last year when the blight pressure really ramped up. We were in a real fix with the rain and it gave us that flexibility that if we were going to be a few days late with the sprayer, the crops were still going to be protected. It meant we could sleep at night.”

Potato dumps and volunteers are a usual source of infection in John’s patch, but he also raises the concern over volunteer potatoes in carrot crops.

John said: “We lost Linuron in 2017 and that was the only product available to take out volunteer potatoes in carrots so there is a threat there.” 

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