Cultivation/Production, North America, Pests and Diseases, Research, Studies/Reports

MSU’s Potato Field Day: A dive into advanced management techniques

Michigan State University (MSU) recently held a field day on August 3, focusing on potato nutrient and disease management. The event, organized by MSU Extension and MSU AgBioResearch, took place at the Montcalm Research Center, as reported in an article published by Michigan State University Extension.

Diverse Participation and Workshops: It attracted potato farmers from across Michigan and featured workshops by MSU professors and research specialists. A standout presentation was given by Christopher Winslow, director of the Ohio Sea Grant Program at Ohio State University.

Phosphorous Management in Focus: The event underscored the significance of phosphorous management in potato farming. Essential for plant growth, phosphorous runoff can detrimentally impact freshwater ecosystems. To counteract this, experts advocated for the “4Rs” of nutrient management:

  • Right source of fertilizer nutrients.
  • Right rate (amount) of fertilizer nutrients.
  • Right time (of year) to apply fertilizer nutrients.
  • Right place (in the soil) to apply fertilizer nutrients.

Late Blight – A Concern Addressed: Another focal point was the discussion on late blight, a grave disease affecting potato and tomato crops. This year, Michigan reported no detections of late blight. Jaime Willbur, MSU assistant professor of integrated disease management in potato and sugar beet production, highlighted her collaborative efforts with the MSU Potato Outreach Program and Michigan potato industry to monitor aerial spores for any signs of late blight.

Shining a Light on Potato Early Die Complex: The day also delved into the potato early die complex, a disease triggered by soilborne pathogens. Research on sustainable management techniques for this ailment was showcased, with a stress on alternatives to fumigation. Marisol Quintanilla, MSU assistant professor of applied nematology, presented her findings. The upcoming two years will see continued experiments. Current countermeasures against the disease involve fumigation, potentially harming the soil’s microbiome. Quintanilla’s team’s research indicates that poultry manure and a compost mixture effectively combat these pathogens.

Source: This article was produced by Michigan State University Extension, republished on Morning Ag Clips here. For more information, visit
Read the comprehensive article here.

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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