Cultivation/Production, Europe, UK, Ireland, Pests and Diseases, Studies/Reports, Sustainability, Trends

Scientists: Unless PCN is eliminated, ‘there will be no Scottish potato sector left in 25 years’ time’

Plant scientists have warned that unless the industry unites in its efforts to stop the spread of potato cyst nematode (CPN) there will be no Scottish potato sector left in 25 years’ time.

Growers attending yesterday’s Potatoes in Practice event on Balruddery Farm at Invergowrie were bombarded by appeals to do more to prevent yet more soil becoming infested after it was discovered the amount of land affected by the pallida species is doubling every six or seven years.

Once land is infected it can take 30 years before potatoes can be safely grown again.

“If we keep going at this rate, within the next 25-30 years there might be no land left to plant potato seed. “We need to take urgent action because if we don’t move for the next five years, we will have twice as much pallida as we do now.”

Professor Toth said 33% of all ware land tested now has PCN, and while resistant cultivars are the best way of overcoming the problem, very few varieties are resistant to pallida.

Read the full report on The Courier here

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