Cultivation/Production, News May 2024, North America, Pests and Diseases, Smart Farming

Potato emergence problems: A practical and detailed guide for growers

At times, potato growers may experience poor emergence of potato plants. There are number of reasons why potato plants may not emerge properly. A detailed guide compiled by renowned North American potato specialists is intended to provide a comprehensive list of common problems that can cause poor potato emergence and stand.

Utilizing this list can help growers more rapidly identify the cause and improve management of the crop and subsequent crops.

The document begins by emphasizing the importance of planting healthy seed, highlighting the role of certified seed and proper handling to minimize bruising and wounds. It then delves into specific problems related to seed rot, categorizing them by the causal agents – bacterial/fungal pathogens and physiological conditions.

For bacterial/fungal pathogens, the checklist provides detailed descriptions of common diseases affecting potato tubers, including soft rot, blackleg, Dickeya rot, Fusarium seed piece decay, and late blight. It includes visual aids for recognizing these diseases and their symptoms.

Moving beyond pathogens, the document explores physiological conditions that can lead to poor emergence. These include chilling injury, freezing injury, frozen sprouts, bruising, and physiological aging of the seed. Clear explanations and images help growers differentiate between these conditions.

The checklist further addresses issues related to planting, highlighting potential problems caused by planter malfunction, variable seed depth, and guess rows not lining up. It also emphasizes the importance of appropriate soil conditions, noting that high soil temperatures or anaerobic conditions can negatively impact emergence.

Finally, the checklist delves into variety-specific characteristics that can influence emergence. It discusses the role of apical dominance, low dry matter content, late or erratic dormancy, and sensitivity to environmental factors such as high soil temperature.

Download the Guide as a pdf file here

Source: NDSU Extension
Lead Author: Andy Robinson, Associate Professor and Extension Potato Agronomist North Dakota State University/University of Minnesota
Eugenia Banks, Potato Specialist, Ontario Potato Board; and Steven B. Johnson, Crops Specialist and Extension Professor University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Cover image: Credit Henryk Niestrój from Pixabay

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

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