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Grow the future | Nitrogen and sulphur Grow the future | Nitrogen and sulphur

Applying nitrogen and sulphur together just makes sense

Combining nitrogen and sulphur together increases nitrogen use efficiency so means more for your money with less wastage

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Keeping Your Potato Canopy Green for Top Yields

There is a general consensus amongst plant physiologists that the potato crop yield is limited by the source of photosynthate as opposed to the size of the ‘sink’ i.e. the number of developing tubers following ‘tuber initiation’. It helps us consider what is important in ensuring we maximise the plant’s ability to fill the ‘tuber sink’ thus producing as many marketable potatoes as possible and improving profitability.  

In practical terms we should ensure that plants produce a full canopy of leaves as quickly as possible (rapid early emergence), this full canopy is healthy, maintaining its ‘greenness’, for the duration of the tuber bulking phase and the plant is able to translocate the sugars (sucrose) produced in the leaf down to the developing tubers as they ‘bulk’.

Nutrient deficiencies can be monitored through plant leaf analysis. Data from Yara Analytical laboratories reveals some of the key nutrient deficiencies found in potatoes to be phosphate, potassium and magnesium. Phosphate is of particular importance due to its role in the transport of the sugars from the leaf down to the ‘bulking’ tubers. The transport mechanism is an energy demanding process and the chemical energy is stored by the plant in the phosphate based molecule ‘ATP’.  Magnesium, the central component of chlorophyll (leaf greenness), clearly has an important role in keeping the leaf canopy greener for longer. Potassium helps the plant regulate water and nutrient movement from roots, through the plant, to the leaves. Water movement itself is also a necessity in the transport of sucrose down to the ‘bulking’ tubers. 

Therefore Yara’s recommendation is one application of YaraVita Magphos K at 10l/ha at tuber initiation to increase tuber number. Or two applications of YaraVita Magphos K at 5 l/ha at tuber bulking (with 14 days between applications) to increase tuber size.

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