HAVE recently heard that some potatoes growers spray their crops
to hurry the harvest along. Can you tell me if this is correct?
And also can you tell
me which potatoes growers do not spray their crops as the thought
of eating potatoes that are contaminated with spray makes me feel
it's true that many potato growers use herbicide spray to kill off
potato plant foliage and any weeds that are around before they machine-harvest
Machine harvesting is
only possible if the foliage has died down, so to supply the demand
for fresh dug potatoes all year round this method of killing off
the tops has become a relatively common practice.
The herbicide used, Reglone,
is approved under the legislation that controls agrichemical use
to be used in this way on potatoes.
It is a contact herbicide,
killing only the foliage the spray comes in contact with and does
not move through the plant into the tubers.
If you want to avoid
the possibility of eating potatoes treated this way you could grow
your own (it's easy and rewarding - see Weekend Gardener,
Issue 132) or buy those labelled as organically grown.
Gardener, Issue 141, 2004, Page 22
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.