(Leo has now sold his potato operation but we thought his experience would be of continuing interest)
Leo Love operates a commercial potato operation at Narracan East in Gippsland Victoria in Australia . His crop his sold to local agents and is sold at the fruit and vegetable markets in Sydney , Newcastle , Brisbane and North Queensland . Leo sows 60 acres of commercial potatoes every year producing around 1000 tonnes. He generally grows an additional 30 acres in seed potatoes. The average production per acre is around 15 tonnes.
He has found that use of Excel-Crop liquid fertiliser has improved production up to 1.5 tonnes per acre. He points out that that is with hard spraying (right through the season). The minimum improvement from adding Excel-Crop is still excellent he says. “On average I expect at least 1.5 tonnes more per acre from using Excel-Crop,” he says.
The Fertilizer Programme
At planting Leo uses a formulated dry chemical fertilizer at 700 kilos to the acre.
He has found that bottom feeding along with the use of the foliar spray feeds of Excel-Crop through the tops has not only given him increased production (up to the 1.5 tonnes per acre) but also produces more tubers in the ideal commercial size range of 65mm-90mm size. He does not use side dressings of chemical fertilizer through the season as he has found Excel-Crop usage is more efficient and productive.
The first spray application of Excel-Crop is made when the plants are around the 250 mm high stage, as the plants are starting to bush up. This is in November for the first paddock on the property through to January. The final spraying for the last paddock sown is generally in late March Spraying is at the rate of around 4 litres per acre when using a boom spray and when using the travelling irrigator system he uses about 20 litres across three hectares.
Two applications of Excel-Crop are made, once every week or 10 days if time permits, after that applications are made as often as possible through the irrigator and Leo has found that regular spraying right up to die-off has produced even better results.
Leo says that Excel-Crop contributes to greater productivity in a number of ways.
He has found that the plants are generally more vigorous in their growth and appear healthier and in better condition. He says Excel-Crop helps the plants through the effects of water, heat and wind stress and has had an observable control over potato blight.
Leo Love Llove@datafast.net.au