To store or sell your potatoes?

If crops were treated with Maleic Hydrazide (MH) pre-harvest, in line with best practice recommendations, you will now be facing a decision on whether to apply in-store sprout suppressants such as spearmint oil and ethylene. Some processing crops may have been treated already. But uncertain demand heading into spring poses the question on whether to sell potatoes that are in store at the moment or keep them for longer.

The removal of CIPC this season has meant there is a large volume of potatoes receiving new sprout suppressant treatments. Most CIPC alternatives will require more of a store manager’s time to manage, but they will also often incur higher costs. So is it worth storing for longer?

Firstly, understand your costs
As mentioned, most sprout suppressant options now available are more expensive, both from a time and financial perspective. Aside the time aspect, most of the chemistry costs upwards of £3/t and multiple applications will likely increase this figure. That does not include another £2/t that you may have already spent on MH, if that was used pre-harvest, either.

It is also important, when calculating storage costs, not to forget to account for weight loss and outgrades, along with depreciation on capital investment and the cost of financing both the store and the crop as a whole.

If you need help with understanding the alternative options available, there is a whole host of information on the AHDB storage hub.

For more information:
Tel: +44 0800 02 82 111
E-mail sbcsr@ahdb.org.uk.


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