Cultivation/Production, Europe, UK, Ireland, News July 2024, Pests and Diseases

Farmer Focus: Are we heading to a potato blight Armageddon?

“Last night, I attended a potato blight meeting which updated local growers on the severity of the blight problems across the UK and EU,” writes British farmer Richard Orr in an article published by Farmers Weekly.

The meeting was very informative, Orr says, and really highlighted the seriousness of the situation. One attendee stated that this had the potential for Armageddon. If farmers are not on our A-game, we could easily be facing a potato famine.

The importance of not block spraying or using single actives and alternating actives each week was highlighted. Extending spray windows to more than seven days is not recommended, Orr reports.

One point on tramlines highlighted the risks from damaged leaf area, with EU farmers now opting not to plant tramline runs and move to wider booms.

“I have certainly seen the benefits of spacing out my tramline beds to give room for wheeling’s and reduce damage,” writes Orr.

“When you take the loss of actives (we can’t use mancozeb here in Northern Ireland) and the known resistance of certain strains, a 15-week spray programme using two actives every seven days, without exceeding the maximum number of uses, becomes a stretch.”

Source: Farmers Weekly. Read the full article here
Image: Credit Dreamstime Open Access Government

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse


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