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Corona crisis reveals added value of new sprout inhibitor for potatoes

July 05, 2021

In Europe, the European Commission has decided that potato growers are no longer allowed to use Chlorpropham in the storage of potatoes. This ban on the product used for decades to store ware and starch potatoes is a real game changer in the European potato sector. Paul Versluijs from the village of Scherpenisse shares his initial experiences with the new agents that best suit the variety, cultivation purpose, available finances and storage conditions.

Paul Versluijs has used the new Argos sprout inhibitor in his potato storehouse. His initial experience with this is that the orange-oil-based product is very suitable for table and export varieties in which direct delivery can play an important role. The special situation surrounding the corona crisis quickly reveals the added value of the new sprout inhibitor. It is the end of March 2020 and at that time the demand from supermarkets in the Netherlands rose enormously. So his customer, the Nedato cooperative association in the village of Oud-Beijerland, asked him to deliver a few lots earlier. Coincidentally, he could do that immediately, because he had a few lots ready that had been treated with Argos. These are the only potatoes that he is allowed to deliver immediately, because for this natural sprout inhibitor based on orange oil, no safety period is required after application, says Versluijs.

Safety period nil days

In an overview from the previous storage season, the potato grower shows that the Melody, Antonia and Challenger varieties can be kept under control until the beginning of April. ‘The sprout length distribution is practically the same and also keeps pace with the samples treated with 1.4SIGHT. The sprout inhibition of Mozart appears to be more difficult to control after the application of both Argos and 1.4SIGHT, but things are certainly not getting out of hand’, Versluijs says with satisfaction. The potato grower doesn’t see a lot of difference in the effect between the two products. What’s different is the administration. ‘With Argos you have to administer more litres, which requires more actions and time for gassing. On the other hand, Argos has a safety period for delivery of nil days and for 1.4SIGHT of 30 days. Which product I’ll choose next season will also depend on the price. I might use both products’, considers Versluijs.

For this series, PotatoWorld’s Jaap Delleman and Leo Hanse have written up stories of European growers storing potatoes without Chlorpropham.


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