Angelo D’ Accolti talks about a Succeful Potato Crop – Experiences from Italy against frost damages

Hello, I am Angelo D’Accolti , Crop Manager of vegetable Division of Compo Expert Italy .

Today I am in a potato field by Conversano Lake near Polignano a Mare in a typical new potato field just after a frost dating back to March 25th, about 3 to 4 days ago.

As you can see the aerial part of the plant is totally damaged. However not everything is lost. As you can see the plant is already sprouting dormant lateral buds in order to revive itself. To do this, the plant needs energy, which it lacks at the moment. The seed tuber has now no more energy for a further development of the plant. In order to obtain a satisfying production, it is important to support the plant’s growth.

Our company offers the following fertigation solutions:

NovaTec® Solub 16-30 and NovaTec® Amino Fluid.

NovaTec® Solub 16-30 and NovaTec® Amino Fluid

NovaTec® Solub 16-30 contains 16 units of ammoniacal nitrogen and 30 units of phosphorus. Ammoniacal nitrogen is very important for potato production in general, but mostly after this major stress. In fact the ammoniacal addition allows to shorten the internodes, increase side ramification of roots and therefore supports the plant during its growth.

Besides it is inhibited through the net technology and this allows to keep ammoniacal nitrogen for longer time in the soil.

This guarantees a higher rate of ammoniacal nitrogen in relation to total absorbed nitrogen. At the same time NovaTec® Amino Fluid contains 15% nitrogen ranging from nitric, ammoniacal, organic to ureic also inhibited by NΕΤ Τechnology.

It is also enriched with 6% amino acids. Amino acids provide ready energy for the plant. They will be of great help for the plant which requires a lot of energy to overcome the stress.

As soon as the lateral buds start to emerge, application with Basfoliar®Kelp will be essential. It is an extract of Ecklonia maxima, rich in hormone-like activity, mostly auxins and small quantities of cytokinins.

Its mechanism of action is mostly, but not exclusively, hormonal, since it is rich in amino acids, betaines and phlorotannins which stimulate tuber growth.

The most important hormones for tuber growth are cytokinins. Although this product is poor in cytokinins in comparison to auxins, it has an indirect action. Providing auxins, the plant is stimulated to regain balance by producing itself cytokinins. The auxin/cytokinin ratio is very close in plants. So, if there is an imbalance towards auxins, the plant will try to recover it and increase cytokinins. Cytokinins are essential for tuber growth. Stolons have already grown here.

Next step would be tuber growth. This application allows for maximum tuber growth if done when the new buds emerge with 4 liters/hectare and 2 liters/hectare 2 weeks later.

It is pretty uncertain that all these stolons would manage to grow tubers. Moreover stolons can branch and produce more stolons, from which new tubers grow. These are suggestions by Compo Expert in case of frost, but also in regular production conditions.