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New ‘cutting-edge’ system predicts potato pest risk

A free cutting-edge system from Washington State University gives Northwest potato growers site-specific information about insect activity in their fields. The new potato decision aid system parallels WSU’s existing system for tree fruit, said Dave Crowder, associate professor of entomology and interim director of WSU’s Decision Aid System program.

The potato system is operating for the first time this year in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. It won’t necessarily give growers an exact number of aphids, Crowder said, but it will tell them how populations are developing in the region. They can plan their insecticide program accordingly.

“All hubris aside, WSU has the best system in the entire world,” Crowder said. “There are very few institutions that have systems like this in the United States.

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