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Ontario Potato Production Update—September 9, 2019

According to Mark Van Oostrum, a few growers will start digging the storage crop this week, but the majority will start next week on September 16.  All the best for the storage crop harvest! Pink eye and road-mapping are both physiological problems that have been detected recently in a few fields. The photo above shows what pink eye looks like on tubers when freshly dug; the lesions will dry up and turn…

End-of-season checklist for managing late blight in Alberta

“Both industry and the public have increased awareness efforts with the intent of returning Alberta to late blight-free status,” explains Robert Spencer, commercial horticulture specialist at the Alberta Ag-Info Centre. “No cases of late blight have been reported as the 2019 growing season wraps up, despite favourable conditions for the disease in some parts of Alberta and some spores caught in monitoring traps.” He recommends that commercial or home garden potato or…

Ontario Potato Production Update: Sept. 3, 2019

Harvesting fresh market and field fry potatoes continued over the long weekend.  Quality of both are very good, but yields are variable depending on the field. The storage crop is being top-killed according to the planting date. The spore traps keep detecting DNA of late blight in Dufferin, Simcoe and Norfolk Counties. This is a very important alert for growers in Dufferin County where there are still fields that will need at…

Late Blight Found in Southwestern Ontario

Over the weekend, a Norfolk County grower found a few Envol plants infected with late blight. The disease is under control; the affected plants were destroyed and the field sprayed with Ridomil plus Bravo. Most of the reports of late blight from the United States have been US 23, the tomato strain.  US 23 is, so far, sensitive to Ridomil. There are still many fields in the province that are green and…

Is the Late Blight Pathogen Adapting to Weather Changes?

The breaking news last week was the detection of late blight on August 19 in six fields located in Minidoka County in Southern Idaho.  The weather there is dry; the average monthly rainfall is 0.7 inches from April to September. Potatoes are grown under irrigation, and after irrigation the canopy does not remain wet for very long.  This sort of weather is not favorable for late blight, so it came as a…

Ontario Crop Production Report: August 20, 2019

Finally, the Alliston, Ont., area that was hit hard by the summer drought received a much-needed rain over the weekend.  Mark VanOostrum had the details: North of Alliston 0.5 inches Alliston to Beeton 0.7 to 1.0 inches Shelburne to Orangeville 0.8 to 1.2 inches South 401 spud lane 2 to 3 inches The rain will take the pressure off irrigation for a few days and should help bulking the chip processing crop….

Digging of the Fresh-Market Crop Has Begun Near Leamington, Ont.

Things looked very different across the province from July 22 to 26 depending on the area.  Digging of the fresh-market crop has started near Leamington, Ont. Quality and size look good. Growers are digging the earliest planted fields in the Simcoe-Delhi region, but the area is dry. “Harvest has started for us and the crop looks good. We need some rain because harvesting and irrigating are not a great combination,” said Joe Lach,…

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…

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