b'TATER TALES Potato IPM 101Things to Remember Before PlantingUse this handy checklist to get ready for potato planting.THE POTATO IS a challenging crop to grow andCommon scabrequires intensive management for success. Much is in the hands of Mother Nature, but problems in the field can exacerbate problems with pests. Soil texture, soil compaction and soil organic matter all have a significant impact on crop development. Be prepared. There are management practices which will reduce the problems with pests. What follows is a check list of things to remember before planting. EUGENIA BANKS, Conduct complete soil tests. Soil tests are potato specialistnecessary to determine the right rate of fertilizer with the Ontario Potato Board to apply. Under- or over-fertilizing can encourage diseases and limit yield. Check for nematodes, wireworms and whiteVerticillium Wirewormsgrubs before planting. Take soil samples for nematode counts and use baits to trap wireworms. If wireworm populations are high, use Cimegra at planting. Whitehealing of cut surfaces and initiates sprouts.grubs are usually easy to see when plowing the soil. Apply the fungicide/insecticide seed treatmentsAnalyze soil samples for Verticillium beforeyou know will be cost effective. planting. If Verticillium levels in a field are medium Use B-size seed for early planting, if possible. to high, do not plant early or susceptible varieties likeWhole seed tolerates cool, wet conditions better than Superior, Envol, or Goldrush. The FL varieties seem tocut seed and is more resistant to soft rot.have good tolerance to Verticillium.Destroy slivers and tuber waste left after cutting. If the field is infested with common scab, grow Try to schedule planting to coincide with only resistant varieties. favourable soil and weather conditions. Ideally, seedIf planting where pink rot has occurred before,and soil should be the same temperature at planting. apply Orondis as an in-furrow spray. Dont plant cold seed in warm soil. The seed willIf you are renting land, be aware of previous cropssweat, and this creates favorable conditions for soft rot.and problem weeds. Some of field crop herbicides can Apply seed treatments and in-furrow pesticides persist for years at levels that will damage potatoes. depending on anticipated problems. Aim for soil of good tilth without drying out the Check the depth and spacing of seed pieces at the soil or producing soil clods. Tillage that dries out thebeginning of planting and several times while planting. soil surface reduces plant vigour. Also, sufficient tillageSkips and clumped seed pieces reduce yields. Doubles is required to incorporate pre-emergence herbicides.reduce average tuber size. Plants adjacent to skips dontPlant only certified, healthy seed. Always checkfully compensate for the missing neighbour.seed upon arrival. Select a seed sample at random,Eliminate cull piles and volunteers from last years not just from the face of the pile at the back of thefields. Volunteers can serve as a source of late blight truck. Wash the sample and check for common scab,inoculum all season long. Colorado potato beetles powdery scab, black dot, Fusarium and late blight.(CPB) can build up tremendous populations on You have only 48 hours to contact the Canadian Foodvolunteer plants. Volunteers serve as the host for early Inspection Agency if you detect seed problems. emerging beetles. Although defoliation of volunteersCalibrate the seed cutter. Sharpen knives andcan be seen as a benefit, the CPB may move to nearby sanitize cutting equipment at least once a day and/orcommercial fields once the volunteers are defoliated. when changing seed lots to avoid spreading diseasesThis can result in a vigorous second generation of like dry rot, blackleg and soft rot. beetles. Warm seed tubers to 10 to 13 C before cutting.Rememberan ounce of prevention is worth a This reduces bruising when handling, promotes rapidpound of cure! 54SPUDSMART.COM Winter 2022'