If I were a potato, this is not the year I’d have chosen to grow.
First, spuds grown across nearly all of the western half of the continent had to endure extreme heat and record dry in-season. Then, they faced challenging harvest conditions in many regions, which meant tubers – many of which were unusually thin-skinned from the poor growing season – received much more mechanical damage than normal. Now, they’re peeping and sprouting: in some cases, breaking dormancy before they were even out of the ground; in other cases, sprouting now that they’re in storage despite sprout suppression. If I were a potato, this isn’t the year I’d have chosen to grow, since my chances of successfully making it onto a dinner plate next spring or summer are so much lower than normal.
If I were a potato grower from the western half of North America, this is not the year I’d choose to take a vacation during storage season.
In any year, I remind producers about the critical importance of managing a bin carefully through storage. After a difficult growing season, though, storage is a lot riskier and requires far more hands-on effort than normal. Though growers who battled a challenging growing season certainly deserve a vacation after the stresses they’ve managed these past months, this is a year for growers to stay ultra-vigilant through storage season in order to support their bins through to sale day.
As a potato storage guy, this is a year I can make the most positive impact for potato producers.
The vast majority of potato producers rely on exactly one storage season product: sprout suppressing CIPC. But, there’s a much better option now available. 1,4Sight is a greener, more sustainable bio-control that not only naturally enhances dormancy, it reduces water loss and helps maintain tuber quality too. 1,4Sight is a great product in any storage season but truly shines in a challenging year like this one: supporting dormancy, maximizing salable yield, and reducing the colour formation of bruising. If I can convince even a few producers to forgo the CIPC status quo and try out 1,4Sight this year, I’ll have made a positive and lasting difference not just to their bins’ quality and salability this year, but to their profitability over the long-term.