Submitted to: Red River Valley Potato Growers Association Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 6, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Over 70% of the total Fall potato crop is placed into storage for year- round use as table stock and to supply the demands of the processing industry. Unlike producers of most other agricultural commodities, a potato producer's efforts continue well-past harvest and often, maintenance of postharvest quality is the most demanding aspect of successful potato production and marketing. Postharvest quality can be adversely affected by many pre- and postharvest factors/processes. In 1998, postharvest losses of the Fall potato crop exceeded 34 million cwt or roughly 8% of the total crop. Two of most serious physiological disorders affecting potato storage are uncontrolled sprouting and incomplete wound-healing. Failure to control either of these processes can result in near-total loss of the stored crop. Research from this project has identified several internal factors/processes that directly control the timing and extent of sprout growth and the rate and extent of wound-healing. In the present report, we describe initial attempts to translate laboratory results to field trails using a variety of chemicals known to affect the previously identified processes. First year field results were confounded by adverse and early stand die-back which limited the movement of applied compounds. The studies will be repeated in the up-coming growing season.
Technical Abstract: Selected bioregulators were applied to mature potato vines (cv Red Norland) two weeks before harvest as a preliminary investigation of the potential use and involvement of these plant hormone/regulator preparations in hastening or retarding loss of tuber dormancy, skin-set and wound-healing. Results from this preliminary field study indicate that some of these bioregulators had small, but detectable effects on these tuber processes even though these chemicals were applied to mature vines shortly before harvest. In the present study, no significant effects on tuber dormancy/sprout growth were observed in any of the treatments. The plant hormone jasmonic acid appeared to slightly reduce skin-set, but had no detectable effect on wound-healing. Naphthalene acetic acid (NAA) appeared to slightly attenuate suberization during the first 24 hr after wounding. Although these results are preliminary and were adversely affected by flooding of the field plots, a potential role for some of these bioregulators in skin-set, wound-healing and dormancy was demonstrated.