Submitted to: Potato Progress
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/25/2008
Publication Date: 2/11/2008
Citation: Boydston, R.A., Seymour, M.D. 2008. 2008 volunteer potato outlook. Potato Progress. 8:6.
Technical Abstract: Potato tubers left in the ground following a potato harvest often over winter in regions with mild winter temperatures resulting in a serious and difficult to manage weed problem in the ensuing crop rotation. Potatoes normally are killed when they reach temperatures below 28° F. Winter soil temperatures recorded at the USDA-ARS research site near Paterson, WA indicate that soil temperatures were cold enough in late January to kill tubers buried shallower than 8 inches deep. Soil temperatures reached a minimum on January 25 and 26, 2007 in the south Columbia Basin region. Data from the Agrimet weather station in Odessa, WA in the northern Columbia Basin indicated that lowest soil temperatures also occurred on January 26 and tubers above 7 inches likely froze. If growers avoided deep tillage (plowing) following 2007 potato harvest and kept tubers near the soil surface, volunteer potato problems in 2008 should be reduced compared to most years and those potato plants that emerge should be from deeper depths and somewhat delayed.