Work Package 6 - Groundkeeper Control
Work Package Lead: Jim Wilson (SoilEssentials)
To control groundkeepers through identification and counting technology and improved management.
Groundkeepers emerge from the potato tubers left behind at lifting and produce unwanted potato plants in following crops. These volunteers enable PCN populations to multiply between potato rotations which reduces the benefit of the rotation as PCN naturally declines in the absence of potatoes.
They are becoming a bigger problem due to tighter rotations, a change in climate (warmer winters), less grass in the rotation, loss of chemicals and an increase in diversity of cash crops grown e.g., carrots and broccoli.
This WP will conduct experiments to determine the effect of groundkeeper presence on PCN populations and use precision methods to detect and control groundkeepers. This includes detailed spray maps and artificial intelligence models. The technology will be monitored, developed, and adapted throughout the project.
The chemical most commonly used to control groundkeepers is glyphosate. This WP will also determine the consequences of glyphosate loss and other potential control options. Precision sprayer technology will help target glyphosate application and encourage responsible use. The incidence and extent of groundkeepers will be identified and combined with data from SASA and other agronomic factors to further support the development of a Decision Support System (DSS, Work Package 2).
Glyphosate is the main herbicide used to control potato groundkeepers. A desk based study has been undertaken to review alternative control methods and this report considers chemical, non-chemical, and integrated options while providing information on the consequences if glyphosate was not available as a control option.
Project Report Year One - Delivering a sustainable potato industry for Scotland through management of potato cyst nematode (PCN)
A summary report of progress made across the work packages addressed by the PCN working group in year one.