Pests and Diseases

Late blight warning for Aussie potato growers

Dr David Cooke, an expert on late blight at the James Hutton Institute in Scotland, tested nearly 100 Australian samples provided by Dr Dorf de Boer of the Victorian Government Sector for AgribioSciences and found no new aggressive strains of late blight had spread globally in the past 30 years. According to de Boer, the tests show that there is only one strain of late blight in Australia. In spite of this potato growers are still being reminded to prepare for the fungal disease that strikes when conditions are humid, stagnant and warm. Several days of humid weather with warm days and cool nights can result in moisture on the leaf that allows infection and disease to occur. “In all likelihood, the strain found in Australia has changed very little since the first Australian record of this disease in 1909.” Said Mr de Boer. “The classic symptoms are a blotch or blight on the leaves and these symptoms can develop overnight.” Source:

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