Cultivation/Production, Europe, UK, Ireland, Most viewed stories, News June 2024, Pests and Diseases

Teagasc issues ‘red alert’ potato blight warning for Ireland

Teagasc is urging all Irish potato growers to fundamentally change their potato blight spraying programmes with immediate effect, as Richard Halleron reports for Agriland.

This reflects the growing influence of resistant blight populations, both in Ireland and across Europe.

“The days of block spraying for blight are over,” stressed Teagasc potato specialist Dr. Steven Kildea. Kildea spoke at a blight workshop, held in Co. Down this week. The event had been organised by College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) in association with Teagasc.

“The future will be shaped around a strategy of mixing two different blight chemistries in the one tank and ensuring that modes of action, where blight fungicides are concerned, are changed in sequential spray applications,” he said.

Kildea confirmed that blight populations are evolving at a faster rate than ever, with resistance to available fungicides now an issue of major concern for the potato industry across Ireland and the rest of Europe.

Kildea also highlighted the integrated pest control (IPM) options available to potato growers when it comes to managing potato crops. One of these centres on not planting potatoes in areas of fields most prone to blight attack.

“Why plant potatoes under trees or adjacent to telegraph poles? It is widely accepted that tree cover promotes the growing conditions enjoyed by blight while growers cannot spray crops growing close to telegraph poles and other filed obstructions effectively,” he said.

Source: Agriland. Read the full story here

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