The seed and crop science company is urging UK potato growers to consider using its biological fertiliser as maincrop plantings get underway

Maincrop plantings

Maincrop UK potato plantings are getting into full swing

Warmer weather and drier conditions have led to a significant increase in maincrop potato planting in the past month, and crop protection company Corteva Agriscience is now urging UK growers to consider the role biologicals could play in their 2024 nitrogen strategy.

Strong results last season demonstrated how BlueN – Corteva’s foliar-applied biostimulant – provides a sustainable, supplemental source of nitrogen for potato crops, said the company – a former division of US chemical firm DowDuPont.

The nutrient efficiency optimiser product captures nitrogen from the air and converts it into ammonium, the firm said.

BlueN provides the equivalent of around 30kg/ha of supplemental nitrogen in a season and, depending on the crop and fertiliser strategy, farmers can use it in addition to their existing programme or to replace nitrogen when optimising rates, according to Corteva.

John Sellars, category marketing manager for Corteva’s range of biological products, said: “The manufacturing of fertilisers is a hugely energy-consuming process. BlueN provides supplemental nitrogen to crops without the risk of leaching, increasing nitrogen use efficiency.

“The bacteria in BlueN fixes nitrogen from the air via anenzymatic reaction meeting changing market expectations by being able to provide a sustainable source of nitrogen.”

After many field trials in the UK and across Europe, potato growers experienced their first full year using the biostimulant in 2023.

Cornish potato grower Andrew Thomas saw a 20 per cent increase in yield after applying the product for the first time last year, Corteva said.