Equipment/Technology, Europe, UK, Ireland, Pests and Diseases, Smart Farming, Studies/Reports

How fungicide data is helping to combat new potato blight strain

© Tim ScrivenerFungicide use data in the UK reveal that potato growers have already adapted their strategies to manage a new resistant strain of blight, although more needs to be done to combat the threat of tuber blight and further resistance developing in 2018. A strain of the most costly disease of potatoes, Dark Green EU37_A2, has spread to the UK since being discovered in the Netherlands in 2013. Of particular concern is its reduced sensitivity to fluazinam, an active that has been a blight control lynchpin since the early 1990s. This prompted warnings by resistance experts last season to change fungicide strategies. Data from crop recording software GateKeeper indicates that the industry took the warnings seriously (below), with back-to-back and late season use falling and applications of co-formulated fluazinam products increasing. Across the Channel in Belgium, blight expert Stef Dierickx says plotting growers’ blight applications against rainfall data showed that each spray in his comprehensive blight programme was applied immediately after a rain event. Read more

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