Influencing Potato Health

Plant nutrients are predominantly associated with increasing yield and quality through ensuring no mineral deficiency is restricting growth and development. However plant nutrients can also help the plant protect itself from disease. A well balanced nutrition program will ensure that the plants cellular structure is robust and resilient, whilst avoiding excessive of nutrient build up that can also be detrimental to plant health. There are numerous examples of nutrients being cited for their role in plant health, with nitrogen, potassium, manganese, zinc, copper and molybdenum being examples. !!

Foliar Diseases

Nitrogen applications can have the effect of encouraging foliar diseases, particularly applications later in the season which delay maturity and increase the risk of blight infection.

Tuber Diseases

Calcium is an important nutrient for preventing tuber diseases since by strengthening cell walls it also strengthens tuber skins so providing better resistance to many diseases. Boron enhances the effect of Calcium by improving uptake and so and can reduce levels of common scab and other tuber diseases, Zinc can minimize powdery scab Sulfur may reduce both powdery and common scab infection.

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Reducing potato Foliar Diseases

Reducing Potato Foliar Diseases

Dry matter content is important for both fresh markets and processing. Tubers with dry matter above 18-20% tend to be more susceptible to bruising and tubers disintegrate more readily when cooked.

Reducing Potato Skin Diseases

Reducing Potato Skin Diseases

Skin finish is becoming more important as consumers increasingly demand potatoes with clean, attractive skins, particularly when buying pre-packed or loose potatoes.