Sprout Suppression


Effective sprout suppression is a fundamental part of potato storage, and although temperature can sometimes be used, sprouting must often be controlled by application of post-harvest treatments, such as chlorpropham, or CIPC - long established as the major global sprout suppressant. Treatment of potato stores involves, in most cases, application of CIPC as a hot fog which is introduced into the storage building under pressure using specialist thermal fogging equipment. Best practice requires use of the store ventilation system to help to distribute this fog evenly throughout the crop to optimise the suppressant’s activity and to minimise residues.

How CIPC works

Sprouted Potatoes

CIPC inhibits sprout development by preventing plant cell division, which is required for sprout growth. Application as a thermal fog results in the deposition of millions of small particles of CIPC on the tuber surface which all act as localised sources of vapour (CIPC slowly sublimates from a solid to a gas in the potato store) which diffuses into the soft sprout tissue as soon as it forms and controls growth.

CIPC is also available in a liquid formulation for application directly to tubers on a conveyor at store loading. This type of application is common in Europe but is not covered by NPTC PA9; operators require PA12. Care needs to be taken with treatments made at store loading because CIPC also stops the wound healing process, leaving the potato vulnerable to weight loss and disease. Anyone considering using this type of formulation should refer to the label recommendations and contact Sutton Bridge CSR for advice on 0800 02 82 111.

Click here for information about alternative sprout suppressants