Potato Grower

November 2018

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WWW.POTATOGROWER.COM 17 STAR REPAIR KIT QUICKLY AND PERMANENTLY REPLACES STARS WITHOUT DISASSEMBLING THE SHAFT Custom Built Potato Harvesting Equipment Visit us on the web @ www.lenco-harvesters.com Custom Built Potato Harvesting Equipment Manufacturer of Lenco Equipment 4 ROW AIRHEAD POTATO HARVESTER 5773 Crystal Road • Vestaburg, MI 877-287-5711 DOUBLE HINGE CLIPS 28MM - 56MM EXTENDS THE LENGTH AND LIFE OF A BELT 48315AdvFar12h.indd 1 4/30/18 4:15 PM Analyze water management strategies. Carefully controlling moisture can make the difference between a low-disease/low- pest crop and one that requires additional chemical treatments. "Growers need to use the 'checkbook' method—write down the amount of water you use, figure evapotranspiration rates, and be sure the irrigation can meet that demand without overdoing it," Gudmestad advises. Factor in predicted precipitation before watering, too. Other helpful factors include: • Creating field diagrams to note low spots or tree lines where moisture may be more prominent. • Studying water runoff patterns to pinpoint places where diseases and weeds are most likely to emerge. • Considering irrigation methods. Crops should have enough water but not too much; high moisture increases the likelihood of diseases like late blight. Also, monitor chemical mixing and application of fungicides, herbicides and insecticides. To be effective, treatments must be mixed correctly and spread accurately. First, focus on field history. Know the history of your fields and document what previous crops were planted; this helps determine which nutrients might be present (or lacking) in the soil and which diseases, pests and weeds were present. Growers also must note any pests or diseases found not only in potatoes, but in any crop planted in that field. This helps accurately determine what pre-planting soil treatment may be necessary. Crop rotation is widely used already, but growers may implement a shorter rotation than would be optimal. "Growers might grow potatoes in a field and come back three years later and plant potatoes again, when it might be better to come back five or seven years later," Wenninger says. "Yields can suffer a bit without proper rotation." Log previous crops in current fields (and adjacent fields, if possible) to help determine what pests and diseases might be present and to develop a crop rotation plan. Whether you own or rent your land, document and consult planting data back several years (up to a decade) to determine crop history. Rotating potatoes with other crops can provide an added benefit. By exposing them to fungicides in the soil that wouldn't be used on potatoes, they're exposed to a different mode of action that can combat diseases and weeds while helping to prevent resistance. Crop Rotation Water Management

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