AgronomyOntario Potato Production Update—September 9, 2019

Ontario Potato Production Update—September 9, 2019

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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 corky with time rendering the potatoes unmarketable.  More information on the factors that predispose potatoes to pink eye and what can be done to reduce its incidence can be found here.

Pink eye lesions dry up and turn corky with time, rendering potatoes unmarketable. Photo: Eugenia Banks

Road-mapping is a sporadic defect that has been related to hot soils. One theory is that hot soil stimulates some of the cells in the skin to divide and thicken indicated in the photo below of the variety Superior.  This is another cosmetic problem that buyers do not like. Cosmetic skin problems are increasing, and fresh market growers have to deal with the issue of producing “perfect” potatoes.

Road-mapping is a sporadic defect related to hot soils. Photo: Eugenia Banks

Tomorrow, I will be digging a large variety trial near Alliston.  It will be interesting to see how the new clones and varieties performed in this hot, dry summer.

Thanks to BASF, Syngenta and the Ontario Potato Board, the spore traps are still up and running.  Last week, the filters had late blight DNA in Dufferin, Simcoe and Norfolk Counties.  It will be interesting to determine the date that late blight spores can no longer be trapped in these areas.

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