Avalanche is a white fleshed potato with a slightly russet skin that washes white. The russet skin is tough and protects the potato so that it does not bruise easily, giving Avalanche a better shelf life. The long dormancy (4 months) gives the grower a longer season to harvest as potatoes do not sprout as quickly. Avalanche sets itís tubers deep in the row, resulting in less greening and tuber moth damage which gives a higher pack out percentage. Avalanche seed must have started sprouting at planting, or less haulms will be produced resulting in lower tuber initiation. If this is done correctly 20 to 30 tubers are initiated per plant (except when planting chats). Therefore a lower plant population is needed to achieve your yield target. A population of 33 000 is perfectly adequate for a yield in excess of 70 tons per ha.
Ensure that the calcium levels are greater than 70% of the cation exchange capacity or internal brown fleck could be a problem in larges. This can be corrected with lime in acid soils, applied a season before planting, or gypsum can be used.
If Potasssium is below 120 mg/l this should be corrected with KCL or KNO3 before planting.
Planting with 1100 kg 4:3:4 (33) in high potential situations, will supply enough nitrogen for early growth. As tuber initiation is very early the extra Nitrogen at planting is critical.
The first topdressing of 200kg LAN (or equivalent) should be done 35 to 40 days after emergence. As Avalanche bulks up early, the plants could suffer from Nitrogen stress resulting in susceptibility to early blight. The response time from application to availability to the plant is generally 2 weeks, and this is why nitrogen needs to be applied early in the growing season. Planting and topdressing (as described here) supplies 188kg Nitrogen and should be sufficient for a 55 ton yield.
A yield potential assessment needs to be done at this stage. For each ton targeted over a 55 ton yield, a further 3kg of Nitrogen needs to be applied. This Nitrogen needs to be applied no later than 50 days after emergence. Any excess nitrogen could result in internal brown flec in the larger tubers.
When planting under cool (winter) and wet (irrigated) conditions, DO NOT USE ACETOCHLOR (Relay, Wenner etc) or METAZACHLOR (Sultan) as phyto-toxicity has been noticed in Avalanche plantings. Rather use metalochlor(dual) or Frontier.
Avalanche is susseptable to Basagran. This chemical causes leaf scorch and should be avoided. Cato can be used in itís place.