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Before harvesting the potato crop, the vines are desiccated to reduce the amount of vines for easier harvesting. Other reasons include reduced losses from late blight tuber rot, reduced disease infection such as leaf roll virus spread by aphids, controlled tuber size and reduced skinning and damaging of tubers during harvest. Methods commercially employed in Canada for potato vine killing include ap plying chemicals and rotobeating. Natural frost action is also an important factor. Potatoes grown for seed must usually be vine killed earlier or in a less mature condition than those grown for processing or table stock. Young potato plants, or those that have not matured sufficiently to start to senesce, are generally much more difficult to vine kill with chemicals than the mature plants. Rotobeating the vines is helpful for harvesting but does not pre vent spread of diseases due to infection of the re-growth than often occurs.
effect of vine-killing methods on moisture loss from potato tubers
Misener, G. C. 1982. EFFECT OF VINE-KILLING METHODS ON MOISTURE LOSS FROM POTATO TUBERS. Canadian Agricultural Engineering 24(2):109-110.
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