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Harvest Considerations for Pacific Northwest Potatoes

September 27, 2023
potato field

Potato field

As the season progresses from summer to fall, if you’re a potato grower in the Columbia Basin region, you are hard at work digging up your fields. With another harvest underway, you’re likely taking this time to reflect on the year and begin preparations for next season. Syngenta Agronomy Service Representative Dan Maxfield shares his thoughts on the 2023 season and provides his top potato tips for the Pacific Northwest.

Overall, this was a good season for potatoes, especially in the Columbia Basin region. The growing season started off cool, but quickly heated up, resulting in strong-looking fields for harvest. Stressors in the form of pests, weeds and diseases fluctuate in severity each year. This year, you may have noticed a larger threat of Colorado Potato Beetle, yellow nutsedge and some early blight.

yellow nutsedge

Yellow nutsedge

Management practices that provide greater protection from stressors are crucial to prevent significant reductions in quality. While some stressors, like yellow nutsedge, can be very difficult to manage, action can and should be taken on all sides of the crop rotation to minimize the in-field spread and proliferation of nutsedge.

With so many variables to manage every year, there are several effective solutions to help protect crops and maximize yield potential, including seed treatments, herbicides and fungicides. Dual Magnum® or Boundary® 6.5 EC herbicides should be considered in potato rotations to help suppress the development of yellow nutsedge.

signs of early blight on potatoes

Signs of early blight on potatoes

To protect crops from disease, recent trials have shown that Miravis® Prime fungicide provides robust protection against early blight and white mold, especially when applied properly in sequential applications. Miravis Prime is a combination of pydiflumetofen (FRAC group 7) and fludioxonil (FRAC group 12) fungicides, giving you a unique combination for high performing disease control and resistance management of critical diseases in potatoes.

Another important consideration is postharvest disease prevention and control. As you move your potatoes into storage, it’s important to minimize the spread of diseases like fusarium and silver scurf, and it starts with a strong postharvest disease plan.

A postharvest fungicide like Archive®, can be critical to maximizing quality and profitability. Archive is applied as an in-line spray as tubers are piled into storage controlling key storage diseases like silver scurf and fusarium dry rot. There are other variables to ensure optimal storage, so you should connect with your local agronomist for timely insights throughout the year to maximize your yield potential.

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