Hollow heart is an internal disorder where a 'lens' or 'star'-shaped cavity forms in the tuber.
It appears to be caused by an abrupt change in tuber growth rate which usually occurs after a period of stress. Water, heat stress and associated calcium deficiency appear to have a role in the development of hollow heart. Hollow heart is an important problem for the potato industry as payments from processors and washer-packers for fresh market potatoes may be reduced. Calibrate irrigation equipment at the start of the season.
The Hollow Heart
A properly calibrated irrigation system ensures that water is applied accurately, the watering pattern is even and the irrigation equipment runs efficiently. Monitor soil moisture content using equipment such as tensiometers or TDR time domain reflectometry probes. Correct use of soil moisture monitoring equipment will help optimise irrigation and prevent over- or under-irrigation. Full and rapid crop emergence from good quality seed ensures there are few gaps and misses in the crop from seed breakdown or poor germination. This means there is less chance of hollow heart developing in over-size tubers in patchy areas of the crop.
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Follow best practice procedures for cutting seed to avoid contamination of seed pieces which can lead to breakdown of seed after planting. Provide a properly balanced fertiliser program to avoid deficiency or toxicity of the essential macro and micro-nutrients. Management of nitrogen N and calcium Ca is particularly important.
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Splitting nitrogen application can help achieve uniform growth. Calcium deficiency appears to be associated with hollow heart, especially where there are brown areas or dead cells in the tuber.
While calcium supply to the plant depends on water movement through the plant, and therefore irrigation management and climatic conditions, fertiliser supply can also be important. It is important to have an adequate supply of calcium in the soil at planting.
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Gypsum applied at 1. Use petiole analysis to monitor nutrient levels. The first petiole sample should be collected when the largest tuber is 10mm long. Comments: Please input your mixed request.
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The first "Slit" is the deepest: the secret to a hollow heart. - PubMed - NCBI
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