NIAB-CUF is to investigate the trade-off between planting depth and tuber greening in a three year study.
Field trials will be conducted in three major growing areas with different soil types: Cambridgeshire, East Anglia and Staffordshire.
“This new study will help us know whether the choice of planting depth is a useful management decision or if there are other, more important factors that determine greening,” said Simon Smart of NIAB-CUF. “One of the conundrums potato farmers face is whether to go for the deeper option to minimise the risk of tubers greening or to opt for the higher yield potential of planting closer to the surface. It is not the case of the seed potato being covered with more soil, because when the crop is planted more deeply the stem stretches out; as a result tubers can still develop close to the surface.”