Cultivation/Production, News Sept 2023, North America, Pests and Diseases, Smart Farming, Storage

Canada: Potato processor warns against pink rot as harvest gets underway

One bad potato can spoil the batch, which is why processor J.R. Simplot is reminding producers to beware of pink rot as they begin harvest, as Geralyn Wichers reports for Manitoba Cooperator.

“If you know there’s rot in there, tell your harvest operator, ‘when you come to that low spot, pick up the harvester, drive over, and don’t harvest those certain areas,’” said Scott Graham, Simplot’s raw agronomy manager.

The fungal disease has been an issue for a number of Manitoba producers in recent years, the company said. Those problems led Simplot to shine the spotlight on the pathogen this year, in an August newsletter to growers.

“Once they’ve dug it and they’ve put it in the pile with their healthy potatoes, they’re in trouble,” Graham said. “The biggest thing is to avoid harvesting and mixing rot areas of the field with healthy areas of the field.”

Spoilage is the ultimate problem when it comes to the pathogen. From the outside, producers will notice dark brownish-gray discolouration on infected potatoes, which is easy to mistake for late blight. The most telling sign, however, happens after slicing. Upon exposure to air, the inside of the potato will take on a rosy hue, which gives the disease its name.

Source: Manitoba Co-operator. Read the full story here
Photo: Pink rot symptoms on full display. Credit: Vikram Bisht, Manitoba Agriculture, via Manitoba Co-operator

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