The increasingly unpredictable climate is triggering a new set of challenges to the Scottish potato industry, where milder summers and winters are leading to an increasing risk of virus transmission in seed crops, writes Donald Paterson, cereal and potato husbandry specialist at Scottish Agronomy in an article published by The Scottish Farmer.
Paterson says the 2022 growing season has been both warmer and drier than average in the majority of the seed potato growing areas in Scotland, pointing out that “any extension to the growing season significantly increases the likelihood of virus acquisition from the surrounding environment, where aphids are present in the crop.”
To tackle this challenge, Paterson says growers need to be looking increasingly to using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategies alongside plant protection products to maintain quality seed.
“At Scottish Agronomy, we, with McCain Potatoes, have been leading trials on IPM strategies for the seed industry, including the use of straw mulch, which has had significant outcomes.”
Source: The Scottish Farmer. Read the full article here
Author: Donald Paterson specialises in both cereal and potato husbandry at Scottish Agronomy. He co-runs group meetings, as well as carrying out crop walking for farmer members on a one-to-one basis.
Photo: Donald Paterson. Credit The Scottish Farmer