Pests and Diseases, Research

US: Researchers look for potato psyllid hideouts

As a warm morning grows warmer along Gap Road north of town, Jenita Thinakaran and Rodney Cooper whack a stringy patch of matrimony vine with 2-foot sections of rubber hose, catching leaves, dust and bugs on white screens. The U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers then inspect the surfaces for potato psyllids, a new pest that has the potential to harm the Northwest potato crop. Cooper spots one, pointing to a tiny green insect crawling across his white screen. “This is a newly emerged potato psyllid adult, and this is exactly what we’re looking for, because this is evidence that it overwintered on these plants,” said Cooper, a research entomologist with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service laboratory in Wapato. More

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