Ensuring Postharvest Quality in Potatoes Starts with a Strong Plan
Maintaining quality postharvest is key to maximizing profitability for potato crops. With harvest underway, you are likely moving your crops into storage and enacting strategies to ensure optimal quality for when they go to market. There are several important considerations for ensuring postharvest quality in potatoes, including proper storage conditions, climate management and postharvest fungicides.
Since demand for potatoes is year-round, managing storage conditions after potatoes go into storage is key to success. While your potatoes are in storage, you need to regulate the climate to maintain the temperature at a brisk 34 to 36ºF, with relatively high humidity. When correctly regulated, temperature and humidity are 2 important variables that allow you to store potatoes for as long as needed. However, ensuring a high humidity in storage can also increase the risk of postharvest disease.
There are several effective fungicides that can be used in storage, but disease protections really begin at planting. While postharvest fungicides, like Archive®, are successful at protecting crops from disease spread in storage, a strong disease management plan throughout the year can help further maximize postharvest quality and profitability.
As you begin to look ahead, strategies like seed treatments, soil-applied fungicides, and strong foliar fungicide programs can also help crops have the strongest possible start from day 1. After all, the last thing you or a consumer wants to see is Fusarium dry rot or silver scurf spreading as you open the doors to your sheds this winter or next spring.
While each season brings its own unique challenges, you should take a holistic approach when strategizing a disease management and crop protection plan. As you look ahead to 2024, we recommend you connect with your local agronomist for the timeliest insights and suggestions.
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