Potato tubers are the country’s most important horticultural crop, accounting for more than 40 percent of total vegetable output. More than 60 percent is processed into frozen potato products and crisps, while around 37 percent is fresh marketed.
Specific considerations for potatoes
There are a number of yield and quality aspects managed by potato growers. This includes the number of tubers set per plant, achieving a desired and consistent tuber size, producing potatoes with a quality skin and minimising the incidence of quality issues such as bruising
There are a range of growing practices and inputs that are managed, to deliver high yielding high quality crops. A balanced and adequate nutrient supply, both macro and micronutrients, is key.
Identifying fertility issues and addressing these during the preparation of soils, or the life of the crop, is essential. Use of sustained release fertilisers and building the nutrient holding capacity of soils provides additional support to crops.
Growers have experienced the benefits of using BioAg’s range of sustained release phosphate fertilisers as well as biostimulants that improve nutrient cycling and supply to crops, whether it be from the soil or when applied as foliar applications.
The BioAg approach
BioAg nutrition programs are incorporated into a growers current nutrition program. Our objective is to make fertiliser and other inputs work better and build and support healthy and balanced soils and plants. Programs are custom-made for each block, using advanced soil and tissue analysis. These integrated programs typically incorporate a range of BioAg solid and liquid nutrients, often associated with conventional inputs. BioAg fertility programs can be developed to meet organic certification requirements.
An experienced and Fertcare accredited BioAg agronomist works with you and provides technical expertise on your crop. If you don’t already have recent soil test data, we arrange a soil test for you. The results provide essential information about the soil fertility and soil structure for better performance. Download the BioAg soil sampling procedure here.
A tailored program
Based on the results of soil tests, crop requirements and other factors such as soil structure, climate, history of the block, and targets that you are trying to achieve, we provide a tailored program that aims to improve soil fertility and maximise yield response. We support you through the program to ensure that inputs are applied at the right time, in the right way.
Leaf and tissue testing
Any nutritional program cannot foresee the changes in weather, disease, or pests, that may impact a crop. During the season, growers may observe issues or evidence of stress in their crop. This may be due to greater growth or yields than planned, a trace element shortage or abiotic stresses. An on-farm inspection and associated leaf or tissue tests will promptly identify any issues, which can quickly be addressed by applying the appropriate inputs. Download the BioAg leaf sampling procedure here.
High yielding crops require fertile balanced soils
Key to highly productive crops is the function of soils. Soil structure, chemistry and biology are critical in supporting crops throughout the growing season. By improving all aspects of the soil, crops will benefit from improved access to moisture, due to improved infiltration and water holding capacity, improved access to nutrition through improved nutrient cycling, fixation (for N) and a reduction in loss pathways, improved resilience to abiotic stresses and disease, improved root growth providing access to additional moisture and nutrients as well as improved carbon sequestration and a range of other benefits (link to resources - soil health).
Beneficial microorganisms stimulate the plant’s root growth and help protect it from abiotic stresses. This is made possible through mutually beneficial relationships that microbes develop with plants, for example mycorrhizal associations. BioAg products programs supply essential macronutrients (N, P, K, S, Ca), trace elements (B, Zn, Cu etc.), microbial food and metabolites beneficial microorganisms that colonise root systems, improving soil function, plant health and productivity.
Potatoes – key features of a BioAg program
The following table illustrates the cropping process and potential solutions depending on soil test results and other contributing factors. Call your BioAg Area Manager to discuss your individual needs.
Highly reactive phosphate fertiliser made from high-grade reactive phosphate rock combined with BioAg’s microbial digesting agent.
Soil & Seed
Formulated to improve soil microbial activity, natural soil fertility and moisture and nutrient utilisation.
Balance & Grow
Formulated to increase vegetative growth, root development and soil microbial activity. Ideal for broadacre, pastures and horticulture.
Fruit & Balance
Formulated to increase flowering, fruit set and soil microbial activity. Fruit & Balance enhances the nutritional value and quality of fruit or grain by increasing plant sugar levels.
Organically certified granular form of fertiliser containing potassium and sulphur. Immediately available to crops and plants. Ideal for crops with a high potassium demand and sensitive to chloride.
A sustained-release form of boron suited to a range of enterprises such as horticulture, vegetables, pastures and field crops.
A liquid solution of Potassium Humate providing a product suited to building soil humus and increasing soil fertility.
Committed to organics
With a core range of natural fertilisers and biostimulants, BioAg can offer an extensive range of products certified by Australian Organics, suitable for use in organic systems.