INSIDERSPotato Growth Regulators and Sprout Inhibitors60’s High-tech Isn’t High Tech Today

60’s High-tech Isn’t High Tech Today


What do cassette tapes, ‘Spacewar’ (the first ever computer video game), Wonderbras, hand-held calculators, ARPA Net (the precursor to the Internet), the Ford Mustang, and CIPC all share in common? If you guessed that they’re all big technological wins from the 1960s, you’d be right. With the exception of the ’64 Mustang (which will forever be the best car made), they’ve all got something else in common too: now that 60+ years have passed since their introduction, they’ve all been replaced by newer, more effective technologies.

When CIPC was first introduced to potato producers in the ‘60s, it was a game-changing technology: a relatively inexpensive storage season input that effectively controlled sprouting and drastically extended the storability of processing and tablestock potatoes. At the time, industry and consumers generally didn’t worry about CIPC’s residue issues (significant), its limitations (multiple), or whether it would be accepted in all international markets (then, yes; now, no).

Today, we know that CIPC’s residue remains in storage facilities for decades after application, that CIPC does nothing to limit disease or moisture loss in stored potato piles, and that it’s no longer permitted in the European Union.

Luckily, there’s a better, greener, more sustainable sprouting bio-control: one with significant value-add and zero residue issues.

1,4SIGHT (for use in tablestock, chipper and processing potatoes) is the only true dormancy enhancer available on the North American market today. Rather than simply suppressing sprouting, 1,4SIGHT’s active ingredient – a fully-reversable, naturally occurring potato dormancy hormone – triggers enzymes that support dormancy. By slowing the tubers’ respiration, 1,4SIGHT also decreases moisture loss, reduces shrink, allows tubers to store their energy rather than using it up through early sprouting, and helps retain tuber quality. Producers also tell us that 1,4SIGHT helps decrease the appearance of pressure bruise.

Whereas CIPC can’t be applied until after suberization, 1,4SIGHT can be applied right at bin close-up to help stabilize a pile. It can be used as a single-application stand-alone on short-dormancy varieties, or it can be used immediately post-harvest and then either reapplied or used in conjunction with CIPC later in the storage season.

While CIPC was a big leap forward for the 1960s, today’s potato storages need 1,4SIGHT.

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Bill Orr
Bill Orr
Canada Technical Representative, One Four Group - Bill Orr started in the sprout inhibitor application industry quite by accident. After college, he worked for a tree care company and sprout inhibitor applications were its fall area of business. This was before the VFD was introduced into the application process in Canada. After enduring those dirty times cleaning up after applications, Orr continued on for another 14 years in the industry. He quickly moved on to doing applications, then technical training for applicators, next to managing the entire application process, and eventually to owning his own sprout inhibitor application company. His application experience has allowed him to do application in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. Orr finds sprout inhibiting a very interesting and unique industry, and he enjoys all the dynamics and challenges it has to offer.