Skip to main content Accessibility help

Alternative Vine Management Programs for Fresh-Market Potatoes

  • Matthew J. Lemke (a1), Jed B. Colquhoun (a2), Daniel J. Heider (a3) and Richard A. Rittmeyer (a4)


Economically solvent fresh-market potato production is predominantly dependent on the ability to efficiently produce consistent tuber quality and high yield, and the ability to meet first-to-market demand with early-season potatoes. Unfortunately, these two qualifiers often work against each other in terms of production management. In response, we studied integrated potato vine management programs that support timely early-season potato harvest. Vine management with a flail chopper, roller, and flame burner used alone or followed by diquat was evaluated when initiated 21 or 14 d prior to harvest in 2015 and 2016. Potato varieties included ‘Yukon Gold’ and ‘Dark Red Norland’. Potato leaf and stem management, as well as tuber skinning, stolon separation, grade, and yield were quantified. Among mechanical methods, potato leaf and stem management were poor when vines were rolled or mowed but better when flail chopped. In general, vine management and tuber skin set was better when treatments were initiated 21 d prior to harvest as opposed to 14 d. Vine management, tuber skin set, and yield were comparable when potato vines were flail chopped followed by flame burning and where diquat was applied twice, offering a viable program for smaller scale or organic production.


Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: Jed B. Colquhoun, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Department of Horticulture, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 1575 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706. (Email:


Hide All
Arsenault, WJ, Ivany, JA (2001) Response of several potato cultivars to metribuzin and diquat. Crop Prot 20:547552
Bethke, PC, Busse, JA (2010) Vine-kill treatment and harvest date have persistent effects on tuber physiology. Am Potato J 87:299309
Bussan, AJ, Sabba, RP, Drilias, M (2009) Tuber maturation and potato storability: optimizing skin set, sugars, and solids. UW-Extension Bulletin A3884-02. Accessed: April 30, 2018
Colquhoun, J, Gevens, A, Groves, R, Heider, D, Jensen, B, Nice, G, Ruark, M (2018) Commercial Vegetable Production in Wisconsin. UW-Extension Bulletin A3422. Accessed: April 30, 2018
Haderlie, LC, Halderson, J, Leino, PW, Petersen, PJ, Callihan, RH (1989) Chemical desiccation of potato vines. Am Potato J 66:5362
Kempenaar, C, Struik, PC (2007) The Canon of Potato Science: Haulm Killing. Potato Res 50:341345
Murphy, HJ (1968) Potato vine killing. Am Potato J 45:472478
Rowe, RC, ed. (1993) Potato Health Management. St Paul, MN: The American Phytopathological Society
Terman, GL, Cunningham, CE, Goven, M (1952) Effect of date and method of kill on yield, specific gravity and other quality factors of Maine potatoes. Am Potato J 29:279289
Waterer, D (2007) Vine desiccation characteristics and influence of time and method of top kill on yields and quality of four cultivars of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.). Can J Plant Sci 87:129135
Westermann, DT (2005) Nutritional requirements of potatoes. Am J Potato Res 82:301307
Wiltshire, J, Milne, F, Peters, J (2005) Improving the understanding and management of skin set and bloom in potatoes. British Potato Council Project Report Ref: 807/222. Report%20R222.pdf. Accessed April 30, 2018
[USDA] United States Department of Agriculture (2011) United States standards for grades of potatoes. Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture


Alternative Vine Management Programs for Fresh-Market Potatoes

  • Matthew J. Lemke (a1), Jed B. Colquhoun (a2), Daniel J. Heider (a3) and Richard A. Rittmeyer (a4)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed