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A challenging year for spuds: Wet conditions, late blight are concerns

In a normal year, Minnesota and North Dakota potato growers generally want late-August rain to provide their fields with one last shot of moisture before harvest. This isn’t a normal year; more rain is the last thing many growers want now. An exceptionally wet summer, especially in key potato-growing counties of northeast North Dakota, have hammered many fields and could result in a 20 to 35 percent loss in some areas, officials estimate. “It’s been a challenging year,” said Andy Robinson, an extension potato specialist in North Dakota and Minnesota. The recent discovery of late blight, a potentially devastating crop disease, in northeast North Dakota adds to the challenge, he said. More

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