Agricultural uses of nitrogen make it the dominant source of nitrogen losses in the EU, with the current loss estimated to be 6.5-8 million tons per year and nitrates affecting over 18% of groundwater bodies in the EU.
Potato growers looking to optimise their fertiliser applications have access to a new nitrogen efficiency optimiser widely available across the UK and Ireland for the first time this year.
BlueN™ from Corteva Agriscience is an innovative biostimulant that enables plants to fix nitrogen from the air and make it available to the plant in the usable ammonium form. In doing so BlueN provides supplemental nitrogen to crops without the risk of leaching, increasing the crop nutrition efficiency.
BlueN contains a naturally occurring bacteria called Methylobacterium symbioticum. Approved in a wide range of crops including potatoes, it is applied at the low rate of 0.333 kg/ha. The bacteria in BlueN enter the potato plant through stomata translocating to the surrounding leaves, stems and roots quickly colonising the plant.
Once inside the plant the bacteria uses methanol given off by the potato plant during growth as an energy source and fixes nitrogen from the atmosphere, converting it into ammonium which is used by the plant to make glutamine, an amino acid used to maintain growth and health of a plant.
Methylobacterium symbioticum is an endophyte bacterium, this means it can exist inside the plant for the lifetime of the plant, providing a constant sustainable source of supplemental nitrogen estimated in trials to be on average 30kgN/ha over this time.
A meta data analysis of data from a large number of potato trials has shown an average 2.5t/ha increase in yield and an average of 3.3t/ha increase in potato yield in the 80% of all trials that gave a positive yield response.
Apply BlueN on top of standard N regime; in more than 80% of cases this strategy brings an increase over the untreated (without BlueN). Across all trials the average yield benefit is 2.5t/ha.
In more than 80% of cases, applying BlueN on top of the standard N régime brings a yield increase over the untreated of 3.3t/ha.
BlueN contains a bacteria which becomes activated in contact with moisture, use BlueN on day of opening.
Ensure the crop is actively growing at application.
Apply to a potato crop meeting in the rows, usually BBCH 25-33.
Optimum daily temperature for application is 10 -30°C.
Best applied when the greatest number of stomata are open – morning or late afternoon.
Under normal conditions it takes about 7 days to colonise, avoid irrigating potatoes during this time.
Spray volume 100-400L/ha of water, pH between 6-8.