Pests and Diseases

Canada: Corn borers develop taste for potatoes

European corn borer might prefer grain crops normally, but it’s not opposed to settling into a potato crop too if conditions are right.Canadian potato growers found a new insect foe in the 2015 season — European corn borer. Ordinarily the pest prefers maize and other grain crops, but when conditions are right it will move on and hit other crops hard, including potatoes. Ian MacRae, an extension entomologist at Minnesota’s Northwest Research and Outreach Center, told Manitoba Potato Production Days this January the effects aren’t pretty. “When it hits potatoes it’s devastating — the young burrow into the stem in the potato, near a leaf axil, eating out the pith and vascular tissue, causing wilting or weakening the stem, lodging the plant so the leaf and stem fall down,” said MacRae. “And their entry points serve as sites for secondary infection.” More

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