Hot and dry conditions have caused dry soil moisture in potato areas to be widespread, the August 19 provincial potato report from Manitoba Agriculture’s Vikram Bisht says. Temperatures over the week hit as high as 37 C in parts of the province.
“The top 30 cm soil moisture, classified as “dry” or “very dry” has become widespread in Manitoba, including in potato growing areas,” the report notes.
Crop water demand for the week in selected sites was significant and ranged from 35.6 to 48.3 mm or 1.4 to 1.9 inches, with widespread rains ranging from 12 to 39.5 mm falling.
“There is forecast for cooling temperatures and some precipitation in the coming few days — this should benefit potato crops.”
Late blight spores haven’t been detected at any monitored sites, and the risk forecast is low for the disease, the report says. Aphid numbers have are lower in seed production areas.
“After the crop canopy has settled to the ground, stem rots due to bacteria, Botrytis and white mold can now be seen in some fields.”