Potato Planting

We planted approximately 7 Ha of potato last month, and received an additional 9 tonne of tubers recently, which we have planted on 3.2 Ha on the easterly aspect of the field. This part of the field is quite stony so we will have to harvest by hand.

The planter we use, a Grimme GL430, is fitted with potato cups on a belt capable of handling small and mid-sized tubers. Spacing between tubers in a row is controlled by changing two cogs in a chain drive on the left side of the planter, and dry fertiliser application rate is similarly controlled by a chain drive on the right side. Regardless of ground speed, application rate of seed and fertiliser per hectare remains constant.

Control of rhizoctonia fungus and wireworm (larvae of the click beetle that can cause damage to tubers) is done with a Bayer product, Prestige, applied by a pair of conical jets spraying a mist of seed dressing over tubers as they drop through the planter. By keeping ground speed relatively constant and controlling seed dressing concentration, we can deliver a consistent dose of dressing per tonne of tuber during the planting process.

This two-phase planter forms beds concurrently with planting; we adjust the bed formers to get a nice bed formed over the tubers, which we will re-form later in the season after the soil has settled.

Next week we are due to apply a pre-emergent herbicide, metribuzin, to this part of the field by spray rig. Stay tuned.





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