b'surface with your thumb. A layer of deadcellswillusuallycomeoff, whileasuberizedlayerremainsin place. Wellmanagedsuberizedcutseed can be successfully held like whole seed. The question of how long and whattemperaturetoholdthepile are important. This will depend on planting schedule, variety, length of storage,andphysiologicalageof seed. Cultivars that tend to have a lower stem and tuber count typical-ly or that are physiologically young can be stored at 52-55F for 1 to 3Image 1. Pre-cut seed in storage. weeks. This has been demonstrated tohelpovercomedormancychal- match soil temperature when plant- canbemanagedtoinfluencethe lengesandledtomoreuniforming. However, this is not always pos- dormancy of the seed potatoes and sproutingandemergence.Aseedsible, so it is recommended to keepcan influence the number of stems treatmentcanbeappliedpriortoseedandsoiltemperatureswithinand resulting tubers per acre. When pilingandsuberization,butavoid10F of each other. Ideal soil temper- youtakeyourseedtothefieldto dusttreatmentswithtalccom- atureforplantingis50-55F.Coldplant, manage seed temperature to poundsthatcanabsorbmoistureseedpiecespromotecondensation.be at least as warm as soil tempera-andinterferewithsuberization.AAfilmofcondensedmoistureture to avoid condensation on the liquidseedtreatmentcanbeusedaround the tuber from condensationseed. Ideally, seed and soil should be withultra-lowvolumesthatdryor saturated soils at 50F for 6 hoursthe same temperature at planting. quickly so they do not interfere withwillfavorthedevelopmentofsoft wound healing. rot (Burton and Wiggington, 1970).Thesearegeneralprinciplesthat havebeendevelopedstudyingdif-Other cultivars that tend to have tooIn summary, plant disease free seed,ferentpotatovarieties.Gettingto manystemsortubersorthatarehandle seed potatoes as little possi- know the varieties on your farm and physiologically old can be suberizedbletopreventdamage.Whentheexperimenting with them will help for a shorter time, approximately 3- tubersarepre-cutthebesthealingyou determine the best way to cut 14 days, and then planted. If plant- conditions are 52-55F, 95-99 % rel- andsuberizeseedpotatotubers. ing is delayed well-healed seed canative humidity with plenty of oxy- Keep in mind every time a new vari-be cooled to 45F to prevent exces- genfromfreshair.Thelengthofety comes along, take time to figure sive sprouting time to completely heal is 7-21 daysout how to best suberize the seed as but this is highly influenced by vari- there are tremendous differences in When the seed is taken to the field,ety and healing conditions. Cuttingvarieties. ideally seed temperature shouldpotato seed and the healing period14 POTATO GROWER APRIL 2023'