INSIDERSPotato Growth Regulators and Sprout InhibitorsThis is the Year NOT to Wait on Thinking Storage

This is the Year NOT to Wait on Thinking Storage


PHEW — planting is done (or, if you’ve hit weather delays, very close to done). While there’s still a ton of work that needs to go into the rest of the growing season, potato growers across the country are breathing a sigh of relief now that seeds are successfully in the ground and the season is underway.

Now, it’s time to turn attention to in-crop management … and the storage season ahead. Yes, June might feel like a strange time to be thinking potato storage, but it’s important to pre-think storage any time of year. This year, proactive planning for storage is extra critical, given that the huge hold-over of spuds from last year will force longer storage for 2024’s spuds.

For more than 60 years, the North American potato industry has relied on a ‘once-and-done’ application of CIPC. The strategy works, so long as sprout control is the one and only priority, but it carries notable environmental, political and residue concerns. It also is very limited in its benefits — beyond sprout control, CIPC offers no additional benefits or support of field-fresh quality.

The question I get most often from farmers is, “If not CIPC, then what?!”

In a word: 1,4SIGHT.

1,4DMN (1,4-Dimethylnaphthalene), formulated as 1,4SIGHT for table stock and processing potatoes and 1,4SEED for seed stock, is the only true dormancy enhancer available on the North American market today. 1,4SIGHT does much more than just managing sprouting: it actively supports the right-from-the-field fresh quality that consumers demand. How does it achieve that? 1,4 SIGHT triggers the tuber to produce a totally naturally occurring hormone that limits water loss, which supports the tuber’s dormancy and decreases shrink. The hormone volatilizes away, which adds huge flexibility with application timing: 1,4SIGHT can be safely applied to help settle a pile immediately after bin-close-up (no suberization or settling required prior to application). And/or, it can be applied anytime during storage to promote or reinstate dormancy, right up to fairly close to shipping to manage late-season sprouting and reduce the appearance of bruising.

Though we encourage producers to consider switching entirely to 1,4SIGHT, it can be applied as a compliment alongside conventional chemistry for those who remain committed to CIPC. 1,4SIGHT appears to offer synergistic benefit to CIPC, improving CIPC’s efficiency at lower rates than CIPC alone.

This year, given that we’ve got a huge hold-over of spuds from last year, successfully promoting dormancy could be the make-or-break for optimizing returns.

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.