Cultivation/Production, Europe, UK, Ireland, Pests and Diseases

Hutton hits indicate blight risk is building in Britain

David WilsonPotato crops in Britain are under increasing blight pressure, with repeated hits of Hutton Criteria that indicate infection risks. The Hutton Criteria has now largely replaced conventional Smith periods, since blight outbreaks were still occurring even when a Smith Period had not been triggered, reports Syngenta eastern counties potato specialist, David Wilson. “This season BlightCast disease risk forecasting has already repeatedly triggered Hutton Criteria warnings, particularly in hot, humid thundery weather with localised downpours,” he warned. Hutton Criteria is believed to better reflect conditions where new strains of blight can actively develop, by reducing the period of relative humidity at 90 per cent or above down to six hours, from an eleven hour period used to trigger a Smith Period. Mr Wilson pointed out experience at the Eurofins trials site in Derbyshire last year demonstrated the effectiveness of new Hutton Criteria in forewarning blight outbreaks. Read more

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