United Kingdom

Protect sugar beet yields from volunteer potatoes

UK - April 27, 2009

As sugar beet crops become established, growers should watch out for volunteer potatoes emerging, advises Dow AgroSciences.

“Left uncontrolled volunteers pose a real threat to sugar beet,” says technical expert David Roberts. “Just one potato plant in a square metre warrants treatment to protect yields and the benefits of control will continue into following crops.

“Recommendations for the use of Dow Shield (clopyralid) in sugar beet crops are very flexible, allowing its inclusion in differing management approaches, even when volunteer potato emergence occurs over an extended period. In traditional low-dose programmes, Dow Shield should be included at 0.5 l/ha with applications of ethofumesate and phenmedipham. Two applications are recommended, typically 7 to 14 days apart.

“To cover extended periods of haulm emergence, I recommend a three spray programme of 0.35 l/ha Dow Shield in conjunction with ethofumesate and triflusulfuron-methyl. The first treatment should be made when the potato haulm is 5 to 10 cm high, followed by two further applications at the same rate at fortnightly intervals. In all cases, applications of Dow Shield to sugar beet should be completed by the end of June”.

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