Many potato growers rely on nematicides to protect their crops. Following is information you should know about both fumigant and non-fumigant methods. Nematodes absorb fumigant nematicides through their body cavities, so ingestion isn’t necessary. Fumigant nematicides work best when nematodes are exposed to a lethal dose for as long as possible. The efficacy of non-fumigant nematicides largely depends on their solubility in water and persistence in the soil.
Pests and Diseases
CFIA: Potato wart not detected during national survey in 2022
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) announced in a news release this week that it has completed its 2022 national survey for potato wart, and confirms that potato wart was not detected in the soil samples tested from the fields where the samples were collected. CFIA says this survey is an important step in the Government of Canada’s efforts to help contain and control the spread of potato wart and reassure domestic and international trading partners.
Lasers, drones and AI: The future of weeding
No-one likes weeding, but new technology is helping farmers around the world tackle weeds in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way, as David Silverberg reports in a news report for BBC News. Deanna Kovar from US farming equipment giant John Deere says that the company’s new tractor-pulled weed sprayer can reduce herbicide use by two thirds. For farmers elsewhere in the world, a number of rival firms, both large and small, have developed similar smart-weeding technologies.
Webinar: Management of potato tuber blemish diseases
World Potato Congress Inc. is pleased to present a webinar with Dr. Alison Lees, Potato Pathologist with The James Hutton Institute, Dundee, UK on February 28, 2023 at 9.00am Eastern Standard Time (EST). The webinar will be titled “Potato Tuber Blemish Diseases: Status and Management”. The presentation will review the status of some of the prevalent potato skin blemish diseases such as black dot, silver scurf and black scurf and the research findings in relation to options for effective disease control.
Researchers develop affordable biosensor to detect soft rot in potato tubers
Diagnosing latent infections in their early stages is challenging since they do not present any external visual symptoms, making detection, tracking, and control difficult. The existing detection methods are time-consuming, destructive, and have limited sensitivity for detecting early-stage infections. However, a team of researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has developed biosensors that are tailored to detect infected potatoes during storage.
Canada: Antioxidants, a booster shot for late blight prevention in potatoes
Dr. Bourlaye Fofana is a geneticist with AAFC in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (PEI) in Canada. He studied how selenium, a micronutrient or mineral that is found in soil, water and some foods, can be boosted in foods such as potatoes, soybean and flax. Selenium is essential to the diets of humans and animals and plays a key role in our metabolism. “Selenium is also an antioxidant, similar to blueberries, which helps reduce the risk of many diseases,” he says.
Fungicide resistant blight strain in Europe: Syngenta advice to British growers on protecting fungicide efficacy
Reports of a single strain blight pathogen in Denmark where some samples were shown to be resistant to the highly important CAA group of blight fungicides, has reinforced advice for growers and agronomists to prevent it occurring in the UK. The strain, EU_43_A1, had been identified in Denmark for the past four seasons, but never identified among the multitude of blight clones that make up the population in the UK.
USDA funds PAPAS research project: ‘Potatoes and Pests – Actionable Science Against Nematodes’
USDA’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) recently announced funding ($6.8M) for Potatoes and Pests – Actionable Science Against Nematodes (nicknamed PAPAS). The PAPAS team will engage in a four-year research project to provide growers with the best management practices for controlling infestations of both root knot and potato cyst nematodes in potato fields. Successful completion will result in several tools for growers.
What a new fungicide-resistant blight strain in Europe means for UK farmers
The discovery of the first strain of potato blight in Europe that is resistant to a carboxylic acid amide fungicide has highlighted the need to use mixes and alternate between different ones in 2023 spray programmes, as Richard Allison reports for Farmers Weekly. It was detected in Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium. And it is expected to spread to the UK.
Scottish scientists discover potato varieties resistant to potato cyst nematodes
The findings of a ground-breaking farm trial investigating potato varieties resistant to crop-destroying potato cyst nematodes (PCN) were revealed last week at the James Hutton Institute (JHI) in Invergowrie. Thanks to scientists from JHI, SoilEssentials, Scottish Agronomy, SRUC and SASA working collaboratively on this Scottish Government-funded project, new varieties of potato have been shown to be both highly resistant to PCN, and suitable for growth in Scotland’s climate.
Potato wart report: PEI Potato Board calls on govt to listen to international panel of experts convened by CFIA
The PEI potato industry welcomed the final report of an International Advisory Panel (IAP) on Potato Wart that was presented to industry and government on January 16, 2023. The panel was convened by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in 2022. The PEI potato industry is pleased with the thoroughness of the panel report and the Panel’s key findings that “given the limited presence of the pathogen, the IAP considers most parts of PEI outside the Regulated Fields as a PFA (pest free area) for S. Endobioticum [fungus causing potato wart].”
PCN and blackleg main topics at Cambridge potato conference
Potato industry challenges posed by PCN and blackleg were among the topics discussed at the recent Cambridge University Potato Growers’ Association (CUPGRA) annual conference, as Ken Fletcher, editor at The Scottish Farmer reports in this news article. Scotland’s seed potato sector has an increasingly serious problem with the potato cyst nematode (PCN) species, globodera pallida, warned specialist potato agronomist, Eric Anderson, of Scottish Agronomy. Prof Ian Toth, of the James Hutton Institute, eld a workshop to discuss his latest research into Root damage by free living nematodes (FLN) as an important factor in blackleg infestation.
Steps to tackle potato cyst nematodes after granular nematicides
The last remaining granular nematicide for potato cyst nematode (PCN) control, Nemathorin (fosthiazate) faces an uncertain future on UK farms, as Mike Abram reports for Farmers Weekly. At the recent Cambridge University Potato Growers Research Association (Cupgra) conference, Scottish Agronomy’s senior potato agronomist Eric Anderson highlighted four areas where action is needed, or more research required.
Blight resistant potatoes: Marketing ploy or real?
This article was written by Amy Skea of Potato House. “As with any industry, research and development is key, and the UK seed potato industry is no exception and is always progressing. We at Skea Organics and Potato House are proud to be involved in this, and this year we hosted some organic potato demonstrations with several of the leading names in the industry involved.”
Trials in New York state looking at nematodes for controlling Colorado potato beetle, wireworms
As state and federal regulators try to limit synthetic pesticides available to growers, Cornell entomologist Brian Nault is investigating the use of nematodes to manage potato pests. “As of the fall of 2022, we have collected three data sets from field trials with entomopathogenic nematodes [EPN] that examine their impact on Colorado potato beetle populations and crop damage by wireworms,” Nault says.
Growers no longer need compromises with fumigation and nematicides when using GroPro’s Vigilance
Worldwide growers face severe issues with the allocation of fumigants, reduced control from conventional nematicides, or bio- and conventional nematicides that provide suppression or just don’t work. Vigilance Nematicide is GroPro’s patented bio-nematicide, providing fumigation and in-field application control, and it’s a proven nematicide that has gone head-to-head in multiple fields and demo trials worldwide with both conventional and bio-based nematicides.
Univ of Idaho leading USDA-funded project to help potato farmers combat nematodes
A University of Idaho-led research team has received a $6.8 million U.S. Department of Agriculture award to develop new diagnostic tools, management practices and resources for controlling harmful nematodes in potato fields. The four-year project is funded through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Research Initiative. Louise-Marie Dandurand, with U of I’s Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology and Nematology, heads the project, titled “PAPAS: Potatoes and Pests, Actionable Science Against Nematodes.”
Virtual event: Canadian Potato Summit 2023
Potatoes in Canada magazine will host the Canadian Potato Summit 2023 as a virtual half-day event on January 12, 2023 at 12:00pm ET. The event will include live sessions focused on industry and agronomy updates from prominent leaders in the potato sector. The first presentation will be by Gary Secor, professor of plant pathology at North Dakota State University, who will talk about a new potato disease and some old potato diseases that have similar symptoms in storage.
Study in Canada’s Alberta province looking at rapid detection and early diagnosis of potato diseases
Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR) recently announced a project to establish a system for early and rapid diagnosis of all potato diseases, and provide Alberta potato growers a proactive surveillance platform. The outcomes from this project will benefit all Alberta’s potato producers and plant disease researchers.
Canada: PEI govt proposes legislation to limit what crops can be grown in potato wart index fields
Prince Edward Island’s provincial minister of agriculture has tabled legislation that would give the provincial government a lead role in trying to prevent the spread of potato wart in the province. If passed, the act would give the minister Darlene Compton the authority to prohibit or restrict the planting of certain crops within an area of a field where a regulated disease has been detected, for up to 20 years.
Canadian Potato Council provides perspective on USDA draft report regarding potato wart situation
The USDA has published a draft report for public consultation assessing pathways of introduction for potato wart from Canada into the United States. In a recent press release issued by the Canadian Potato Council, the industry body’s manager, David Jones says, “You may be aware of statements from industry stakeholders regarding the report that have raised your concerns about the movement of potatoes grown on Prince Edward Island (PEI). We wish to clarify the intent of the report and the basis upon which the pathway analysis was conducted.”
After USDA risk assessment, NPC urges increased protections to prevent Prince Edward Island potato wart spread
On Thurs., Nov. 10, the National Potato Council (NPC) in the U.S. and a dozen state potato associations issued a letter to USDA Undersecretary of Marketing and Regulatory Services Jenny Moffitt calling on the department to work with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to develop new phytosanitary protocols to prevent the spread of potato wart from Prince Edward Island to U.S. growing areas. USDA concluded the disease is “almost certain to be introduced” to the United States without additional mitigation measures.
RNA-based Colorado potato beetle product hopes for 2023 registration
More help is on the way for U.S. farmers who struggle to control Colorado potato beetle, as Tim Hammerich of the Ag Information Network reports in a ‘Farm of the Future’ report. Greenlight Biosciences has reportedly developed an RNA-based pesticide alternative that chief commercial officer Mark Singleton says is highly targeted, environmentally-friendly, and safe for consumers.
APHIS posts new PCN Eradication Program report
APHIS’ Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Pale Cyst Nematode (PCN) Eradication Program in Idaho has posted its 2022 third quarter report (July 1 – September 30). The report updates program activities and eradication progress, and provides quarterly and aggregate regulatory, survey, and laboratory data.
Canada: Latest CFIA update on potato wart – 30,000 soil samples and counting
Warm, dry fall weather helped the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to continue soil sampling for potato wart, other than a short delay because of post-tropical storm Fiona. CFIA posts a quarterly update on the investigation into potato wart, and the latest report from October shows the agency has now collected almost 30,000 samples, and analyzed almost 20,000 of them.
New Univ of Idaho Extension bulletin focuses on devastating potato disease – bacterial ring rot
University of Idaho Extension has published a new bulletin to help potato farmers recognize the symptoms of bacterial ring rot (BRR) and protect their operations from the devastating crop disease. UI Extension Seed Potato Specialist Kasia Duellman hopes the bulletin will remind commercial and seed potato farmers to maintain good sanitation practices and remain vigilant for symptoms. She warns ring rot “can be an existential crisis for a seed potato grower’s business”.
Managing PCN: 6 key actions for success
Bayer Crop Science in the UK recently published an insightful article on its website, providing potato growers with advice on the management of potato cyst nematodes (PCN). According to information published in the article, the first step to effectively managing potato-cyst nematodes is to sample soils to identify the species present and the population density. This is best done after the potato crop is harvested when test results will be most accurate. Testing pre-planting is also a useful management tool.
USDA report on potato wart crisis: Extent of infestation on Prince Edward Island ‘likely larger’, current mitigation measures ‘insufficient’
On October 14, USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service released a comprehensive report on the current status of the potato wart crisis on Prince Edward Island, Canada, stating that PEI’s potato wart infestation is “likely” larger than reported and that the virus is “almost certain to be introduced” to the United States without additional mitigation measures in place.
SAC Consulting: How do you know if potato fields have PCN?
Potato cyst nematodes, or PCN, have been moving up the agenda for Scottish growers for some time now, writes Jane Brisbane of SAC Consulting in an article published by The Scottish Farmer. “These pests have become a serious threat to our tattie industry and it’s not just an issue potato growers need to take seriously, but everyone in arable production, especially those who rent out land for potatoes,” she notes.