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Browsing articles by Eugenia Banks

Potato Late Blight Management

Potato late blight is a devastating disease of potatoes. It can destroy a potato field in a few days if wet weather prevails and no effective fungicides are applied. This is a “community disease” because late blight spores are spread by wind from infected to healthy fields. Thus, the management practices followed by individual growers will affect an entire potato production area. Late blight is carried over from one season to the…

Diseases To Watch For On Seed Potato Tubers

Healthy seed is a key factor in growing a quality potato crop. Several diseases affect seed tubers and they have the potential to reduce plant stand early in the season. Therefore, it is extremely important to examine all seed lots carefully immediately after receiving the seed. If you detect diseases or defects, check the standards set by the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency (CFIA). There are tolerances for both shipping and receiving….

Potato Days in The Netherlands

Potato Days is held the second week of November every year in The Netherlands. At this event, Dutch potato breeding companies showcase their varieties and clones for the table and processing markets. The three-day event attracts hundreds of potato growers and industry personnel from all over the world. Most companies have their offices near the city of Emmeloord, which makes visiting the different breeding companies easy. HZPC, a world leader in potato…

Second Growth: A Potato Problem Induced by Heat and Drought

Second growth is a physiological potato problem induced by soil temperatures of 24 C or above, and water stress. These two factors interact to limit the tuber growth rate causing second growth. Inadequate soil moisture alone does not result in the initiation of second growth. Heat and drought prevailed during the 2016 Ontario growing season, which explains why second growth has been reported in some fields. Potato varieties differ in their susceptibility…

2016 Ontario On-Farm Potato Variety Trial Exceeded Expectations

Selecting suitable varieties is the first step in any successful potato operation. Not only must varieties suit the intended market, but they must also be well adapted to local growing conditions. Potato breeders are continuously releasing new varieties, but varieties that perform well in one region may not do well in neighbouring areas. Thus, new varieties must be evaluated to determine local adaptation. In 2016, the Dutch company HZPC, a world leader…

Two Potato Fungicides to Keep in Mind in 2017

Although harvest of the late maturing crop in Ontario has not started yet, it is never too early to start thinking about disease management in 2017. Two fungicides to keep in mind in 2017 are Quash for early blight, and Revus as a seed treatment for late blight. Quash: Early blight is a common fungal disease that develops each year regardless of the weather. Crop stress favours the development of early blight….

Curtailing Chlorothalonil

Eugenia Banks was the Potato Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for 25 years. While with the ministry, she developed the Integrated Pest Management Program for Ontario, conducted on-farm research trials, and organized both the Ontario Potato Conference and the Ontario Potato Field Day. Her on-farm trials evaluated new potato varieties, new crop protection materials and new technologies. She focused on common scab, a worldwide problem in…

Top 5 Storage Diseases

Potato growers are familiar with the expression ‘a potato storage is not a hospital’, which reflects the simple truth that diseased potatoes going into storage are not going to get better. It is essential that growers carefully monitor potatoes going into storage and keep a close eye on storage conditions to keep infections from spreading to maintain the value of their crop. It’s also important to understand that managing potato diseases in…

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