Twenty potato growers are being given the chance to trial an in-store potato sprout suppressant product based on orange oil.

To take part, farmers are encouraged to apply online via UPL’s website, and if successful, will receive enough Argos (orange oil) to treat 200t of stored potatoes.

Trial purpose

The trial, coined ‘the sprout control challenge’, was instigated as a means to assess how Argos fits within storage control programmes if it’s not already being used.

 Explaining how it works, Geoff Hailstone says Argos is a natural product containing pure food-grade orange oil. “It provides a physical mode of action on contact, drying and disrupting the soft tissues on which it is applied; even sprouts that the naked eye cannot see are removed.”


Like other sprout suppressants, the product is applied using a fogging machine operated by specialist contractors. “The fog produced tends to be lighter and drier than mint oil alternatives, which means coverage across the store can be better,” he says. “As well as supplying Argos to the winners, we’ll provide application and overall potato storage advice.

“Argos has proven itself to be a very effective and flexible product. Once the crop has been treated, there’s no withholding period, meaning potatoes can be moved out of the store 48 hours after treatment. The fact Argos is derived from a natural source is also an excellent sustainability story for the food chain.”

Closing date for applications is 31 January.