b'planting various combinations of mustards with high biomasswith early fungicide programs in high-risk fields.and glucosinolates are being conducted in both Canada and the If excess moisture lasts into the growing season, issues with United States. Cover croppings positive impact on soil healthbotrytis and white may also take off. appears to make a notable impact to PED control. In addition to Colorado potato beetle, European corn borer was an issue in some areas of Manitoba last year and likely will Early Blight be again this year. Wireworm stayed at low populations levels Producers across most of Canada should also keep an eye onand were limited to only a few fields in 2021, unlike more major the weather in relation to early blight. Early blight tends toinfestations further east. impact plants stressed by alternating drought and excessiveIn Ontario, last falls wet conditions meant increased storage moisture conditions: a pattern that seems increasingly commonissues for many producers. With pink rot, pink eye disorder, in many areas of late. Spore trapping is being conducted inand bacterial rots on producers minds, fungicide will be a key multiple regions. For the best defense against early blight,consideration at planting says Van Dyk.choose resistant varieties and tested seed, and support healthy,Growers will be thinkingI can put Orondis in furrow for consistent crop growth through timely fungicide treatments andpink rot, but that takes it away for use on late blight. Do I use my a strong nutrition program.Orondis application early, or do I save it for later in the season?It wont be an easy decisionthough Ontario didnt face Other Pests much late blight last year, the wet fall was conducive to disease The biggest pest of note across Canada continues to be Coloradodevelopment and may translate to more issues this year.potato beetle due to increasing resistance concerns. To stayOntario producers should also watch for botrytis vine rot, ahead of potato beetle, its critical to monitor resistance andwhich Van Dyck says appears to be increasing in recent years. rotate secondary foliar products.Ontario enjoyed a fairly easy season last year for pest flareups, Weve gotten very lucky the last number of years wherewith wireworm and leafhoppers at relatively low levels. insecticide application at planting has for the most partProducers are starting to more frequently apply secondary foliar controlled almost a year-long of potato beetle, says Dennis Vansprays for Colorado potato beetle.Dyk, OMAFRAs vegetable crop specialist. As we go back toPrince Edward Island fields experienced pretty standard having to spray foliarly again, we really need to emphasize thewinter weather, says Lorraine MacKinnon, potato industry importance of scouting and correctly timing those sprays, notcoordinator with P.E.I.s Ministry of Agriculture and Land. just doing it based on a calendar, to give the products the bestThough the usual suspectscommon scab, potato early chance to work. dying, and soft rot organismsare on MacKinnons mind, she Aphids should also be top-of-mind for all producers, thoughsays there are no indications of increased disease risk so far for whether they prove vectors of crop disease or not depends onthe coming season. Due to the Islands sandy soil, early spring which species and how significant the populations the windmoisture conditions have little impact on seasonal disease.blows in. As in other regions, populations of Colorado potato beetle, European corn Borer, aphids, and flea beetles will be dependent Regional Outlook on P.E.I.s summer weather patterns. Alberta is likely to fare better than other provinces once againAgriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the P.E.I. Department for potato diseases and pests. Other than late blight, whichof Agriculture and Land will be collaborating once again on an could appear if Alberta experiences a cool, wet spring, andIsland-wide click beetle survey. Conducted every three years, the aphids, which may blow in depending on wind currents, potatosurvey aims to determine whether wireworm populations are producers should face few other major concerns. Most notably,increasing or decreasing. MacKinnon says the 2019 population Albertan producers rarely suffer much damage from Coloradosurvey showed signs of decline for the first time in a decade of potato beetle.surveying. After last years challenging growing season, many AlbertanIn New Brunswick, potato producers should be watchingproducers suffered storage issues from heat stressed potatoes.in addition to PED, late blight and early blightfor Potato Virus Processors and producers worked diligently to mitigate losses.Y (PVY), which is a regulated potato disease in the province. The good news, Potato Growers of Albertas Executive DirectorNew Brunswicks provincial regulations require seed potatoes Terence Hochstein says, is that seedstock wasnt nearly asundergo lab testing in addition to the visual inspection and impacted, so it shouldnt be disease prone in-crop. certification conducted by CFIA inspectors. In Manitoba, near record snowfalls across much of theAny influx of aphids, which are the main victor for the virus, provinces prime potato growing land could cause wet soil issuescan cause infection which the visual inspection might not be early this growing season which may then translate to higher- able detect either because infection takes place later in the than-normal emergence challenges, says Vikram Bisht, a plantseason after the CFIA visual inspection takes place, or because pathologist agronomist with the Province of Manitoba.symptoms expression in the foliage is not clear or strong inNotably, blackdot disease has been gaining notoriety asWhatever ones growing region, farming success depends on an early robber of yield, says Bisht. Blackdot is an importantthoughtful pre-planning, diligent scouting, timely treatments, component of the PED complex but can be managed effectivelyandyesa dash of luck. Best of the season to you!56SPUDSMART.COM Spring 2022'