INSIDERSPotato Growth Regulators and Sprout InhibitorsWhat’s Going on Behind your Closed Doors?

What’s Going on Behind your Closed Doors?


You managed harvest. You got through door close-up. You successfully applied your first dormancy enhancement/sprout suppressant treatment. Now it’s February and you might be feeling nicely stress-free and in the clear. With luck good management, your pile isn’t sprouting and remains rot-free. But what’s happening far out of sight at the bottom of that pile?

Most of today’s potato storages range in capacity from 40,000 to 80,000 CWT. Stored potato piles regularly reach 18 feet in height. That’s a lot of weight pressing down on the tubers, especially those closest to the floor. Not surprisingly, many piles suffer pressure bruise, especially when tubers go into storage stressed, don’t receive adequate humidification, or are stored in poorly insulated buildings.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing that can be done about pressure bruise, right?


1,4SIGHT is a bio-control dormancy enhancer with important side benefits. Unlike CIPC, which effectively suppresses sprouting but does nothing more, 1,4SIGHT mitigates sprouting while also minimizing tubers’ water loss, increasing their turgidity and ability to withstand pressure. Applied or re-applied two to four weeks prior to bin load-out, 1,4SIGHT also decreases pressure bruise’s colour formation at shipping, which can help producers capture quality premiums. No, 1,4SIGHT does not ‘take away’ pressure bruise – no product can heal bruised cells once bruising has occurred. Rather, 1,4SIGHT slows the development of bruising once tubers hit fresh air at shipping, which reduces the appearance of cut black.

I first met Doug, a potato producer from southern Alberta, at a Potato Growers of Alberta Conference. We’ve managed a sometimes short, sometimes long talk at nearly every industry conference since then. He’s a hands-on manager who expects top production from his fields and top quality coming out of his storage. He keeps up with best management practices, LOVES talking potato production, and says he’d choose a shiny new piece of potato technology over a vacation any day of the week. Even he, though, as committed a potato guy as I’ve met, looked unconvinced when I suggested he give 1,4SIGHT a try to reduce his pressure bruise losses at shipping. Like many potato producers, he’d believed pressure bruise to be an unfixable inevitability for so long that he had trouble believing there might be a solution.

I finally bet him a beer that he’d see results if he gave 1,4SIGHT a try.

He emailed me last spring after his last potatoes shipped. I printed it out and had it tacked to my wall through the summer and into the fall:

Hallo Bill. Turns out you’re right. Way, way less pressure bruise penalty this year. 1,4SIGHT was a gamechanger. I guess I owe you a beer. And a thanks.

Related Articles

The Importance of Potatoes’ “Second Season”

Ultra-early Sprouting is a Storage Nightmare

How to Avoid Your Own “Oh NO!” Moment

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.