Potato Grower

December 2017

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WWW.POTATOGROWER.COM 43 • Ensure that bags and shipping containers are well-ventilated. Andy Robinson is an extension potato agronomist with North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota. Gary Secor is a professor and plant pathologist at North Dakota State University. Eastern Idaho Ag Expo Idaho Potato Conference For More Information Call 208-939-6426 39 th Annual 50 th Annual 39 th Annual Eastern Idaho Ag Expo Jan. 16-18, 2018 HOLT ARENA Pocatello, ID Tuesday - 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Wednesday - 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Thursday - 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. 50 th Annual Idaho Potato Conference and Trade Show Jan. 17-18, 2018 I.S.U. Student Union Building Pocatello, ID Wednesday - 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Thursday - 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. 168981SpePro13s.indd 1 9/8/17 12:30 PM happens, bacterial soft rot will occur quickly, especially in warm conditions. REDUCING LENTICEL SPOT Tubers being moved from the field to storage or to a packaging facility likely will encounter changes in temperature, moisture levels and air quality that may encourage lenticels to open and bacteria to multiply. In a wet year, many harvested potatoes are likely to have lenticel spot. To mitigate problems with lenticel spot, avoid harvesting low areas in the field. When piling tubers, be sure to minimize bruising, and dry the tubers as quickly as possible to avoid lenticels staying too wet or being exposed to elevated CO 2 levels. Suberize potatoes for two to three weeks with fresh air at 50 to 55 degrees, with 95 to 99 percent relative humidity. Proper suberization will close lenticels quickly, protecting the tuber from pathogen entry. One mistake likely to increase lenticel spots in the packaging process is not sufficiently drying washed potatoes. Typically, washed potatoes are stored in a cooler. This slows disease development, but it also slows drying time and suberization. A water film around the tuber may lead to anaerobic conditions, causing lenticels to open and latent bacteria to multiply. Potatoes that are shipped with a water film can break down completely in transit under the right conditions and become a stinky mess; the warmer the shipping temperature, the more rapid the breakdown. MANAGEMENT TIPS Managing lenticel spot can be challenging; however, here are some management tips to help reduce lenticel spot in the field and in storage. MANAGEMENT IN THE FIELD AND AT HARVEST: • If possible, keep the available soil moisture below 90 percent. • Harvest when temperatures are between 50 and 65 degrees. • Avoid harvesting following heavy rains or in water-logged areas. • Ensure harvesting equipment is clean and sanitized. • Minimize bruising. • Properly suberize tubers. • Never wash tubers before placing in storage. STORAGE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES: • Prevent the accumulation of CO 2 and condensation in storage by ensuring good air movement. • Frequently clean and sanitize fluming systems and water. • Clean water with an effective biocide. • Clean and sanitize all equipment to prevent bacteria from spreading. • Dry washed tubers with forced hot air as quickly as possible to remove the film of water on the tubers. Enlarged lenticels appear as "popcorn" as a result of too much water.

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