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Browsing articles by Carolyn King

Better Sooner Than Later

Late blight is a deadly disease that requires integrated management, including foliar fungicides as a key tool. Usually potato growers make repeated preventive applications of broad-spectrum fungicides starting before row closure, and then use late blight-specific fungicides if the disease is found in their fields. Now studies in Ontario and the Maritimes are working on easy-to-use technologies for early detection of late blight that could allow more targeted fungicide strategies. Late blight…

Fine-Tuning Pink Rot Fungicide Timing

Jeff Miller, a researcher with Miller Research in Idaho, will be presenting his latest study on management of pink rot (Phytophthora erythroseptica) at the 2019 Potato Association of America (PAA) annual meeting. This persistent soil-borne disease causes tuber breakdown and yield loss. Miller’s field trial is looking at the effect of the timing interval between spraying a phosphite fungicide for pink rot suppression and applying irrigation water. Miller provides some background information…

Pest Alerts to Help Fight Zebra Chip

In her presentation at the 2019 Potato Association of America Annual Meeting in Winnipeg, Man., Carrie Wohleb, an associate professor and a potato, vegetable and seed crops specialist with Washington State University (WSU) Extension, will be sharing the results from a monitoring network in Washington State that tracks potato psyllids (Bactericera cockerelli). These little flying insects are the vector for Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum, the bacterium that causes zebra chip disease. Zebra chip was…

PVY Management Strategies that Work

At the 103rd Potato Association of America (PAA) Annual Meeting, Andrei Alyokhin, a professor of Applied Entomology at the University of Maine, talked about his recent studies on the transmission of potato virus Y (PVY), an aphid-borne virus that impacts potatoes worldwide. “PVY is an economically important virus that causes significant crop losses,” he says. Depending on the potato cultivar and the strain of the virus, PVY can cause such symptoms as leaf…

Cultivar and Common Scab

According to Claudia Goyer, a molecular bacteriologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Fredericton, N.B, cultivars differ in terms of how severe common scab will be. No cultivars have true resistance to common scab, where there is no disease at all. “All of them can get common scab. The tolerant ones get really minimal amounts of the disease, just a couple of lesions here and there. The susceptible ones get a…

Keeping Tabs on Late Blight

Strain monitoring in Canada over the past three decades shows successive waves of new strains have replaced older strains of the late blight pathogen. The latest findings from research to track and characterize the strains across the country are a combination of good and bad news with direct relevance for managing the current strains. Rick Peters, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) in Charlottetown, P.E.I., is co-leading this research…

Researchers Go Toe-to-Toe with PCN

Although extremely rare in Canada, potato cyst nematodes (PCN) are such a serious risk to potato production and trade that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has strict surveillance and quarantine protocols. When PCN was discovered in Quebec in 2006, the CFIA immediately implemented quarantine measures for the affected fields. As well, the agency took other important steps, including working with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and other stakeholders to identify research…

New Prospect for Wireworm Control

A few years ago, Todd Kabaluk was given some fuzzy wireworms. That might not sound like an auspicious gift, but Kabaluk is a research biologist in integrated pest management with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). He was immediately interested. As it turned out, these fuzzy wireworms were the first step on the path toward a new possibility for controlling wireworms. Wireworms are the tough-to-control, soil-dwelling larvae of click beetles. AAFC has found…

Seeking a Whammy for Wireworms

“We have estimated wireworm costs Prince Edward Island’s potato industry more than $10 million per year in damaged product, crop protection products, crop insurance claims, and costs associated with rotation crops to battle wireworm,” says Ryan Barrett, research coordinator with the P.E.I. Potato Board. “While research by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada researchers, such as Dr. Christine Noronha and Dr. Bob Vernon has provided growers with more tools to battle this pest, it…

Common Scab Complexities

You need to know your enemy if you want to fight it, says Martin Filion, an associate professor at the Université de Moncton. “Genetic diversity of a pathogen means differences in functions the pathogen might have,” he says. “For instance, different species or strains might have different responses to chemicals or agricultural practices you are using to manage the disease.” Information about which common scab species and strains are present and their…

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