British potato growers advised on bridging the troubled waters of heat stress

As the mercury rises across Britain, potato growers are urged to take particular note of the impact of temperature stress on their crops and it’s potential to influence performance and eventually the total potential yield.

Image source: Interagro

“With a dry spring and ideal planting conditions, we are in one of the top 3 seasons for finishing planting,” says Stuart Sutherland, technical manager at Interagro.

“However, the cold spring and wet soil conditions slowed growth and some crops have just sat there under stress. We are now at the cusp of whether crops produce above average tuber numbers. With warmer temperatures on the cards there is potential for this which may mean some crops cannot bulk properly,” Mr Sutherland points out.

Heat stress, which slows tuber bulking above 20C and inhibits bulking at temperatures above 26C, is also a likely threat to crops as we head into the summer across Britain.

“Applying Bridgeway will help crops to recover from abiotic stress now and also protect crops from heat stress,” Mr Sutherland says. “Bridgeway is a biostimulant that’s proven itself in trials and on farm over the last 4 years.”

The biostimulant has shown that it enables tuber bulking to be maintained and higher yields can be achieved compared to untreated crops. It is said to stimulate root and shoot growth, increasing nutrient uptake and canopy size, and increases chlorophyll concentration.

“Bridgeway helps crops to harness more light energy which increases the rate of photosynthesis and starch production,” Stuart Sutherland says. “The product protects potato plants against cold and heat stress, and aids in crop recovery from frost and temperature stress as well.”