As New Zealand Spring and Summer rolls towards potato growers, so too do the myriad of pest and disease management activities. One of the greatest challenges especially for growers, is the control of Potato Tuber Moth (PTM). The increasingly dry periods seen in recent seasons, exacerbate the problem, with cracks in the earth providing plenty of opportunity for tuber infection.
Potatoes New Zealand’s recently completed PTM literature review looks at the various control approaches to this pest and suggests an integrated approach to PTM management. The review of scientific publications from the last 10 years on potato tuber moth research, focusses on management options – including alternate hosts – particularly over winter, chemical resistance, IPM strategies – cultural practices etc.
PTM originated in South America and has now been recorded in over 90 countries around the world.
PTM feeds on a range of food plants, mainly those in the family Solanaceae. The main crops attacked are potato (Solanum tuberosum), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum or Lycopersicon esculentum), and tobacco (Nicoitana tabacum). In the case of potato, larvae of PTM feed either on tubers or within the leaves of potato plants. PTM is primarily a potato field pest. Harvested tubers are not so at risk, if they are kept well protected in cool stores.
You can read or download the full report on PTM on the Potatoes New Zealand website here https://potatoesnz.co.nz/research-and-development/technical-bulletins/. An article also appears in the October 2020 issue of NZ Grower magazine (Horticulture New Zealand).
Source: Potatoes New Zealand
Cover photo: Courtesy Dennis Crawford Graphic Science