Knowledge article

Focus on root improvement and tuber formation

Wortelverbetering knolzetting Know why

In August 2018, the North-Western European Potato Growers Foundation (NEPG) sounded the alarm for the potato harvest in north western Europe. Quality-related problems and falling yields formed a serious challenge. These problems were mainly due to the extreme drought and extremely high temperatures experienced by the major potato growing regions in Europe. According to climatologists, we will be faced with extremely wet, dry, cold and hot periods more frequently. It is difficult for growers to prepare for these situations, but there are tools that can help you.

Promote root growth and tuber formation

A strong, healthy root system enables plants to extract more nutrients from the soil. In addition, it creates a highly resistant crop that will recover more quickly after a period of stress. Optima Root is a special combination of fertilisers, growth promoters and vitamins that stimulates root growth, tuber formation and shoot development. By applying this specialty fertiliser just before or directly at planting (7 litres per hectare in the row or 10 litres per hectare broadcast), the crop will get off to the best start and root and tuber formation will be promoted.

In addition, practical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of a foliar application of 4 l/ha Optima Root at around the 10 cm stage. This will boost the potato crop and stimulate tuber formation. Optima Root is enriched with plant invigorators, such as seaweed extracts, amino acids and vitamins that support the plant when it experiences abiotic stress. It supplies the plant with essential elements for balanced growth and optimal protection against stress. Optima Root is a real all-rounder, which be used in various other crops as well as potatoes.

Trials with Optima Root in potatoes

Optima Root has been widely used in agricultural and horticultural applications with very positive results for a long time. For example, in the extreme conditions of 2018, Optima Root was trialled in table potato production in East Flanders. In that year, Optima Root achieved a 6% increase in yields. An overview of the trial setup and results is shown below:

Tabel wortelverbetering knolzetting Optima Root
Purpose:To increase the yield and grades of potatoes
Period:Growing season 2018 (extremely dry summer)
Site:Watervliet, Belgium
Performed by:Grower in cooperation with Soiltech
Crop:Chip potato, variety; Challenger
Soil type:Light clay
Treatment:1 x foliair application (spray) with Optima Root
29 June 2018
Measurements:Yield, total and grades
ControlStandard fertilisation
TreatedStandard fertilisation + 5 litres/ha Optima Root (combined with fungicide)

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