Cultivation/Production, North America, Pests and Diseases, Seed

Injury prone: What dicamba damage does to potatoes, and how to fight it

Plant injury from dicamba has been in the news for the past two years. In the potato world, there are always concerns of potato plants’ unintended exposure to herbicides. “We have been gathering data to determine what effect dicamba has on seed tubers and potato plants,” according to Andy Robinson, extension research potato agronomist with North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota. Dicamba injury on potato tubers is expressed as elephant hide, smaller tuber, and/or malformed/cracked tubers. “We typically see greater tuber malformations as a result of herbicide injury when plants are exposed during tuber initiation through early tuber bulking. At high enough concentrations, dicamba residues can carry over in tubers,” according to Robinson. “This is problematic for commercial production, because dicamba residues are not allowed by the EPA in potatoes for food. Seed potato plants can have slower emergence, a reduced stand and injured leaves, all resulting in a lower yield.” More

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