Sprout inhibitors provide a means of keeping potatoes in good condition for the late fresh or processing markets. Sprouts accelerate water loss from the tubers and result in a smaller volume of saleable potatoes. The physiological changes brought on by sprouting can also lead to colour problems, especially if the potatoes are desprouted before processing.
There are two types of sprout inhibitors registered for use on potatoes in Canada. One is applied as a foliar spray during the growing season while the other is applied as a fog throughout the ventilation system of a potato storage AFTER the potatoes have cured, or as a spray on packing lines.
Because the physiology of sprouting is so complex, no product can guarantee indefinite control; sooner or later treated potatoes will begin to sprout. With field applications, a wide variety of factors govern effectiveness. Chief among these are time of application, weather conditions and the physiological age of the tubers. In years when conditions favour a short dormancy, the pressures to sprout may overcome the chemicals ability to prevent it. With storage applications, the major obstacles to good sprout control are poor distribution due to either inadequate ventilation or dirt on the potatoes and also the physiological condition of the potatoes.
Because of the limitations outlined above it is absolutely imperative that ALL label instructions be strictly adhered to. Refer to publication 1300A.