Pests and Diseases

Spotting airborne foes: Novel spore trap designed to detect and identify key crop pathogens

An automated spore trap has been developed by researchers and industry partners in the UK which is said to have to potential to “revolutionise disease monitoring in agricultural crops.” The device, which was developed as part of an AHDB project led by Rothamsted Research, provides near real-time information on the presence of airborne spores and could potentially help farmers target[Read[Read More…]

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Hutton hits indicate blight risk is building in Britain

Potato crops in Britain are under increasing blight pressure, with repeated hits of Hutton Criteria that indicate infection risks. The Hutton Criteria has now largely replaced conventional Smith periods, since blight outbreaks were still occurring even when a Smith Period had not been triggered, reports Syngenta eastern counties potato specialist, David Wilson. “This season BlightCast disease risk forecasting has already repeatedly triggered[Read[Read More…]

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Research in action: PCN advisory tool under scrutiny

Four potato varieties not known to be resistant to white potato cyst nematode (Globodera pallida) have given much better yields than eight others in the first year of a two-season SARIC-funded research project in the UK. The latest work aims to improve AHDB’s potato cyst nematode population advisory tool (potatoes.ahdb.org.uk/online-toolbox/pcn-calculator), explains Matthew Back, of Harper Adams University. “We’re working with the University[Read[Read More…]

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Plant disease diagnostic company expands into the US

Pocket Diagnostic® announces the addition of another distributor of its plant disease rapid tests in the United States. Potadaho Seed Services (“Potadaho”) joins the Pocket Diagnostic distributor network having amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience working in the potato industry in the Pacific Northwest over many years. UK based Pocket Diagnostic plant disease tests have been benefiting the potato,[Read[Read More…]

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Western Australia releases latest update on presence of tomato potato psyllid

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Western Australia (DPIRD WA) has released the latest industry update on the presence of the tomato potato psyllid (TPP) in the state. This update, which is available in English or Vietnamese, contains information on a range of related areas, including the wind-up of the transition to management phase for the response, a snapshot of results from[Read[Read More…]

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Chasing after psyllids: Tasmanian tomato potato psyllid research used across Australia

Tomato potato psyllid is considered a serious threat to Tasmania’s potato, tomato and capsicum crops, with research conducted by the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture used to manage the pest around the country. Tasmanian researchers have conducted a tomato potato psyllid surveillance program in commercial potato crops since 2011. The project, which is funded by North-West Tasmania potato processors Simplot, McCain and Smiths as well as Horticulture[Read[Read More…]

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Blight programmes in sharp focus as British growers attempt to unlock yield potential

CPM finds out why potato experts are advocating robust blight programmes after challenging spring planting conditions. Later harvests in some key growing areas are being planned and every effort will be needed to maintain green leaf area to maximise yields where inclement weather delayed planting. At the time of writing it is estimated that as much as 10% of the UK crop is[Read[Read More…]

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Untying the knots: Dutch researchers look at biocontrol of root knot nematodes by increasing soil disease suppressiveness

In organic vegetable cultivation in the Netherlands, root knot nematodes are one of the major problems. According to scientists at Wageningen Plant Research, the problems with root knot nematodes is also increasing in other soil based cultivation systems. The numbers of available and effective chemical control products against soilborne diseases and pests are limited, though. In addition, the combination of different[Read[Read More…]

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Million dollar question: Do some potato-growing soils suppress powdery scab?

A research project in New Zealand is determining if different field soils affect development of powdery scab on potatoes, and whether soil physical, chemical and/or biological characteristics influence this important potato disease. The project is developing new knowledge that may provide a basis for manipulating soil factors to reduce the harmful effects of the powdery scab pathogen. A cross-discipline team is[Read[Read More…]

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Bayer completes $63-billion Monsanto takeover; name to disappear forever

German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer said Thursday its two-year pursuit of US-based Monsanto over, as the two firms signed off a $63-billion merger deal. “Shares in the US company will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, with Bayer now the sole owner of Monsanto Company,” the German firm said in a statement. In an industry preparing for[Read[Read More…]

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Innovative weed management: German companies Neudorff and Zasso create herbicide free solutions

W. Neudorff GmbH KG and Zasso GmbH in Germany intensified their mutual technology cooperation and recently formed a joint venture. With the formation of this joint venture, both companies are breaking new ground in weed management. The joint venture is aimed at developing completely new methods and technologies for weed management without the use of herbicides. With the help of[Read[Read More…]

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Clampdown: European Commission announces neonic ban dates

The European Commission has announced that the sale and supply of neonicotinoid actives clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam for outdoor use will cease by September 19, 2018 at the latest, with the sale, storage and use of seed treated with them ending on December 19, 2018 at the latest, according to the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC). However, it is up to member[Read[Read More…]

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Good news: Dickeya not detected in Scottish seed and ware potato survey

A survey was undertaken in Scotland to monitor seed and ware tuber production in Scotland for the presence of Dickeya spp., in support of Scottish legislation introduced in 2010, which established a “nil” tolerance for Dickeya infections in seed crops. This survey was risk-based and targeted stocks which held the greatest risk of carrying or contracting the disease. This survey was carried out in conjunction[Read[Read More…]

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Come eat me: Some potato varieties yield more when grazed by pests

When some Colombian potato varieties are lightly grazed by a pest, the plants respond by growing larger tubers, at times doubling their yields. Although many types of plants can repair pest damage while maintaining productivity, it’s rare to find species that actually overcompensate and increase productivity. Cornell and the Universidad Nacional de Colombia researchers first discovered this effect in a commercial[Read[Read More…]

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Dutch experts help Indonesia deal with potato pests

Potato cultivation in the highlands of Indonesia is plagued by a number of pests, including Potato Cyst Nematodes and Phytophthora infestans. Dutch experts are now helping their Indonesian counterparts to find the right approach to control these potato pests. In order to further study, best impede and conquer the spread of the PCN, the Agriculture Quarantine Agency (AQA) of the Indonesian Ministry[Read[Read More…]

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US: WSU releases 2018 growing season potato pest alert, probability of late blight relatively high

Washington State University has released their third potato pest alert which included an insect monitoring report and a potato disease report for the 2018 growing season. WSU Potato alerts come in part from the Washington Potato Commission based out of the Columbia Basin. According to the report, beet leafhoppers (BLH) are a continuingly increasing pest in the across the Columbia Basin. Beet[Read[Read More…]

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Biological fungicide targets powdery mildew, fusarium and phytophthora

BioSafe Systems in the US has released PVent Biological Fungicide through a partnership between BioSafe and Lallemand Plant Care. Due to its active ingredient, a 93 percent Gliocladium catenulam strain J1446, BioSafe said the fungicide  has unique adaption traits, meaning that it can thrive across broad ranges of temperature and humidity, both in the soil and on leaf and stem tissue.[Read[Read More…]

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Blackheart and senescent sweetening: Two serious physiological issues with potato tubers during storage

In the latest issue of AHDB Potatoes’ regular Storage Bulletin, it is noted that potato tubers are living organisms that go through a number of physiological processes during storage, such as respiration and dormancy. These processes are affected by a variety of factors, which determine the quality of your potatoes and their resulting value in your market of choice. It[Read[Read More…]

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New test kit for the detection of bacterial ring rot in potatoes

Agdia has commercialized a rapid and user-friendly DNA test kit based on its AmplifyRP XRT+ platform, for detection of the causal agent of bacterial ring rot (BRR) in potato. Clavibacter ichiganensis subsp. sepedonicus (Cms) is primarily spread through infected seed stock and/or through contaminated farm equipment. Cms is a zero-tolerance pathogen in U.S. seed potato certification programs and can have substantial financial implications for a grower if[Read[Read More…]

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UK: Robust potato blight control needed in late planting season

British potato growers are being urged to stay on top of blight disease this season as late spring plantings mean it is even more critical to maintain green leaf area through the summer to maximise yields. In such a late planting season, crop experts say robust blight control will be vital after delayed crop establishment is likely to lead to late[Read[Read More…]

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Blight research: GM potato, IPM can reduce environmental impact of potato production by over 95%

Researchers with Teagasc in Ireland have concluded their field study which investigated both the environmental and agronomic impact of a GM potato variety genetically engineered to resist late blight disease, caused by Phytophthora infestans. Potato late blight can rapidly destroy potato crops with growers commonly having to resort to spraying their crops with fungicides on a near weekly basis. Teagasc research[Read[Read More…]

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Deep down: Late blight’s chemical attack mechanism explained

A team of international researchers headed by scientists from the University of Tübingen in Germany has deciphered the workings of a cytolytic toxin, which is produced by some of the world’s most devastating crop diseases. The cytolysin is manufactured by pathogens such as bacteria and fungi and can wipe out entire harvests if chemical protection is not used. The study — by researchers from Tübingen and[Read[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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