Apr 09 2021

Stress free higher yielding potatoes with Bridgeway

Stress free higher yielding potatoes with Bridgeway

Keeping potatoes stress-free is not an easy task, with crops often subject to prolonged stress periods at key growth timings. However, ahead of a new season, amino acid based biostimulant Bridgeway could be the answer to protecting potential, particularly in the early stages.

Early crop stress reduces the rate of carbon assimilation and decreases partitioning of assimilates to the tuber and can be incredibly detrimental to tuberisation, bulking and tuber yield. Managing stress, and mitigating against it where possible, is therefore essential in order to protect yield potential.

Download Bridgeway potato guide here to learn more

 

Abiotic stresses impacting potato potential:

  • Temperature fluctuations cause erratic growth
  • Reduced productivity >26oC
  • Wind blow can lower photosynthesis
  • Drought stress lowers starch production
  • Frost damage can be a huge setback

Stress free higher yielding potatoes with Bridgeway

One of the key contributors to potato stress is temperature. Temperature stress can affect potato crops at any time during the growing cycle. Fluctuations between hot and cold often lead to erratic growth that cause issues with tuber size and numbers – and also impacts quality – which can result in growth cracks.

Other weather influences such as drought and frost, as well as wind blow, can also have an impact. Arguably, these factors are often out of the control of growers, so anything that can be done to minimise stress and maximise photosynthesis will no doubt be hugely beneficial for profitable potato production.

Bridgeway benefits

 

With the potato tuber being mainly composed of photoassimilates, mostly starch, any mechanism to stimulate photosynthesis and translocation of the end product to the underground stem offers the possibility to increase tuber yield, and this is where Interago’s biostimulant, Bridgeway, is particularly useful. Bridgeway offers the possibility to reduce stress by improving root health and by increasing the rate of photosynthesis to optimise tuber bulking.

Improves establishment & growth

Stress free higher yielding potatoes with Bridgeway

 

 

Stimulates root & shoot growth

Bridgeway stimulates rooting, enabling the crop to draw on water and nutrients from depth, whilst supporting the larger canopy as the season develops. This is particularly beneficial during drought stress periods. Stimulation of shoot growth is also particularly beneficial to help frost damaged crops to recover as fast as possible. 

 

 

Stress recovery & resilience

Amino acids and peptides in Bridgeway signal defence and recovery mechanisms in the plant. Regular applications of Bridgeway will help to build resilience to stress during the growing season and ensure tuber bulking continues, even during stressful growing conditions. Bridgeway treated plants invariably yield higher. 

Builds stress tolerance

Stress free higher yielding potatoes with Bridgeway

Higher photosynthetic efficiency

Stress free higher yielding potatoes with Bridgeway

 

 

Increases the rate of photosynthesis

The adverse affects of abiotic stress on the crop can be limited with Bridgeway, which trigger stress defence mechanisms and increases the photosynthetic light conversion efficiency of the crop. The subsequent translocation of assimilates to the underground stem ensures tuber bulking continues and helps to ensure resilient high yielding potato production. 

Tried and tested

Stress-busting biostimulant Bridgeway has proven highly effective over the last 4 years in helping potato crops to cope better with abiotic stress. The growing season of 2020 was particularly tough on crops and growers alike, with Bridgeway treated crops fairing better than most.

Bridgeway helped frosted potatoes recover yield

Frost damaged potatoes May 2020
Frosted potatoes following Bridgeway application

Alongside the sub-zero conditions of spring 2020, May’s frosts caused severe damage to early and early-maincrop potatoes in some low-lying areas of the country. Some crops were set back weeks, with yield and lifting dates also badly affected. On this farm in Shropshire, Bridgeway was applied at the start of tuber bulking to help the crop recover from the harsh frost which had almost wiped it out.

Frost was an issue in many low lying areas of the country in 2020

Frosted potatoes in Norfolk in 2020

During 2017, 2018 and 2019, CMI Ltd investigated the effect of Bridgeway in commercial potato crops. The trials investigated the influence of different application timings and sequences of Bridgeway on the growth and yield of potatoes.

In all trials, crop husbandry was even across the site and management aimed to remove all constraints other than those under investigation – all sites were irrigated with drip irrigation. The 2018 trials showed that three applications were optimal for getting the most out of Bridgeway. In terms of overall tuber yield, Bridgeway treated crops were found to boost yield by 5.1t/ha and deliver the highest margin over input cost of £857/ha. Similar results were also seen in subsequent years.

Stress free higher yielding potatoes with Bridgeway

2018 - Bridgeway increased tuber yield by up to +5.1 t/ha and +£857/ha margin over input cost

Effect of Bridgeway on Potato yield (t/ha) and margin over input cost (£/ha) All treatments applied at 2 L/ha

CMI 2018, Lincolnshire. (IAUK4). Potatoes cv. King Edward. P= 0.0001. Mean yield of treatments from harvest 5 & 6. Potatoes at £175/t MOIC based on Bridgeway £10/L. SD = Statistically significant difference to untreated

2019 - Bridgeway increased tuber yield by up to +5.2 t/ha and +£850/ha margin over input cost

Effect of Bridgeway on Potato yield (t/ha) and margin over input cost (£/ha) All treatments applied at 2 L/ha

CMI 2019, Wilsford. Potatoes cv Sapphire. P = 0.002. Harvested 6th September. SD = Statistically significant difference to untreated. Potatoes at £175/t MOIC based on Bridgeway £10/L

Conclusions – 3 years of CMI trials

  • In 2017, 2018 and 2019 visual observations were no indicator of what was happening below ground
  • In 2017, 2018 and 2019 yields with Bridgeway were increased significantly
  • Bridgeway helped potato crops cope better with stress
  • Stress occurred at some point during the trial period in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and Bridgeway applications closest to the stress period had the biggest impact on yield 
  • Programme approach optimal in 2017, 2018 and 2019 with 2 or 3 applications delivering the maximum response
  • Bridgeway increases tuber bulking and marketable yield

For the full 3 year CMI review click here

 

Bridgeway recommendations and how to use

Download your copy of our Bridgeway potato guide here for more information on the  benefits of Bridgeway, trials results and application and timing use guidance.

Stress free higher yielding potatoes with Bridgeway

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