Europe, UK, Ireland, Pests and Diseases, Pressreleases, Production/Agronomy, Smart Farming

New blight strain threat: Late blight control strategies will have to change in Britain this season

Late Blight control strategies in the United Kingdom will have to change this season if potato growers are to combat the spread of a new aggressive, fungicide-insensitive/ resistant strain of the disease, leading agronomy firm Hutchinsons says.

The dark green 37_A2 form of Phytopthora infestans has quickly spread across Europe, reaching England two years ago when five cases were reported. 

Around 20 cases were officially recorded in 2017, mainly in the West Midlands, Yorkshire and Kent, and more recently in Suffolk, but Hutchinsons root crop technical manager Darryl Shailes believes the actual figure could be higher and all crops no matter where they are grown are potentially at risk. 

Around 20 cases were officially recorded in 2017, mainly in the West Midlands, Yorkshire and Kent, and more recently in Suffolk, but Hutchinsons root crop technical manager Darryl Shailes believes the actual figure could be higher and all crops no matter where they are grown are potentially at risk.

The new strain is at least, if not more, aggressive than the dominant blue 13 and pink 6, but the crucial difference is that it appears equally aggressive on foliar and tuber blight, he warns.

Darryl Shailes:

Lockwood Mfg

Urschel

Solanum International

TOMRA Food