New Heat Stress Alert warns of local potato crop risks

Andy-Cunningham-irrigated-potatoes

POTATO growers can now get an advance warning of the best time to apply Quantis biostimulant to best tackle the effects of heat stress events.  

The Quantis Heat Stress Alert website gives a clear 14-day forecast of risks for individual fields, along with the option to have specific alerts emailed direct. 

See also: A new industry body could help to champion potato production

The forecast pulls together information from multiple weather sources to calculate “pin-point local conditions” for the coming 14 days, Syngenta said.  

Warnings are triggered by periods of leaf temperatures above 25C for four hours a day – or extreme weather events over 30C at any time in the day. 

Information is displayed as a simple traffic light graphic:

  • Green for no significant risk of a heat stress event
  • Amber for a potential heat event that may occur
  • Red warning of timing to take positive action against an imminent heat event. 

An email alert will only be sent when a heat event warning is triggered. 

Apply before heat stress

Syngenta technical manager and biostimulant specialist, Andy Cunningham, says trials have repeatedly shown that the best response to Quantis occurs when applied before a heat stress event.

“Once the alert comes through, if three consecutive heat parameters or near events are predicted, that is the optimum time to apply Quantis preventatively, ideally one to three days before the predicted stress event.

“The science of how Quantis works, to help plants cope with the stress-induced effects of hot weather – by enhancing the production of antioxidants and osmoprotectant levels – has been well proven,” adds Mr Cunningham. 

Application timing

“Now growers have a practical decision support tool to enable them to make best use of the benefits in season, with better timing of applications when they will have the greatest effect for final tuber size and overall yield.”

The Quantis Heat Stress Alert clearly shows accuracy bars for the confidence level in the prediction. 

And the closer to a heat event and the higher the accuracy score, the more confident growers can be of the heat stress occurring.

“Growers and agronomists should also consider the crop growth stage at the time of the heat event,” explains Mr Cunningham. 

Susceptibility

“Potato crops appear most susceptible to heat stress from the onset of tuber initiation and through the bulking stages when the use of Quantis should be a priority.”

Research has shown that plant performance can be adversely affected by temperatures as low as 15⁰C during this period.

“Such is the potato plant’s susceptibility to stress as stolons start to swell, to create tubers, that we would advise a routine application of Quantis to counter any abiotic stresses at that growth stage in all situations,” he says.     

Farmers and agronomists can request the heat stress tool information on a field-by-field basis or across any wider geographic area. 

Information can be displayed between a one to 14-day period. 

Register for the Quantis Heat Stress Alert here, or via the Syngenta website.    

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