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Potato blight warning issued across the UK

Potato growers across the UK should be on high alert for potato blight, following a period of warm, wet weather. Rain showers, coupled with warming temperatures have heightened the threat of the major potato disease across many of the UK’s key growing regions. Claire Taylor reports for The Scottish Farmer.

Last summer saw disease levels peak following a period of heavy downpours, which put a stop to spraying programmes.

Although warning levels for blight haven’t yet reached the same levels of severity, growers are being urged to protect their crops with robust blight prevention programmes.

The Blightwatch alert system, hosted by AHDB and the MET Office, has displayed red warnings since June 11 – indicating the highest level of blight threat – just as many crops are reaching the crucial rapid canopy growth stage.

Farmers and advisors are well aware that the threat of blight will develop quickly in warm, wet weather, particularly with latent blight present in volunteer potatoes from fields that were abandoned following a difficult harvesting campaign in 2019.

Read the full report in The Scottish Farmer here
Photo: The Scottish Farmer

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