Pests and Diseases

Late blight control in potato farming: Key lessons from Syngenta UK’s webinar

The “Potato Late Blight Webinar” by Syngenta UK provided crucial insights into advanced blight control techniques for potato farming. It emphasized the significance of nozzle selection in spray applications, the superior effectiveness of the fungicide M4 Plus, and the potential implications of losing mancozeb, a vital multi-site fungicide. The webinar underscored the urgent need for ongoing research and development in blight control, particularly in finding new multi-site fungicides and optimizing drift retardants.

Read More

Harnessing the power of fungi: Researchers unveil a potential biological solution to potato stem rot

Researchers at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University, Hajee Mohammad Danesh Science and Technology University, and the Asian Institute of Technology, conducted a study to evaluate the biological control efficacy of Trichoderma harzianum in combination with organic amendments against potato stem rot caused by Sclerotium rolfsii. It was published in the journal Plant Stress. The team investigated the biocontrol efficiency of Trichoderma harzianum in combination with organic additives against potato stem rot. The research found that the fungus showed increased effectiveness in suppressing the growth of S. rolfsii.

Read More

The wonder of natural pest control: How plants defend themselves by recruiting their enemies’ enemies

Plants have developed stealthy survival tactics to defend against insects without relying on chemical pesticides. Many produce potent repellent chemicals, while others attract natural enemies of pests by emitting odor signals. Understanding these natural solutions could help reduce the use of harmful pesticides in agriculture, according to researchers Ted Turlings and Matthias Erb. They discussed this chemistry between plants and pest-protecting organisms in the Annual Review of Entomology.

Read More

Europatat joins PATAFEST: A new EU project to safeguard Europe’s potato industry

Europatat is proud to become an active partner of a new EU Horizon Europe project called PATAFEST. The project aims at protecting potato plants by means of pest spreading and resistance characterisation, pre-harvest treatments, and post-harvest solutions. PATAFEST will develop a unique approach to identify resistance genes in potato varieties against selected pests and pathogens in order to develop innovative strategies to control the spread of potato pests and reduce potato post-harvest diseases.

Read More

‘TuberSense’: Transforming root crop monitoring with innovative disease and defect detection technology

Agri-tech company B-hive Innovations is developing TuberSense, a root crop disease and defect monitoring system that uses volatile biomarkers to detect crop diseases and defects in tubers before they compromise the crop’s quality and value. The project has completed its first phase of research and testing, establishing the link between potato diseases and volatile compounds released by tubers.

Read More

Farmers in Ireland urged to protect potato crop as nationwide blight warning issued

Met Éireann, the national forecaster of Ireland, has issued a potato blight advisory for the entire country, urging farmers to protect their potato crops. The advisory states that conditions for the spread of the disease will be prevalent nationwide from Thursday night to Sunday morning. While blight warnings are common at this time of year, Shay Phelan, Teagasc’s Potato Specialist, emphasizes the importance of taking them seriously.

Read More

Beyond insecticide: Innovative strategies for wireworm control in potato crops

Dr. Christine Noronha, an entomologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, is developing strategies to control wireworms, a common pest affecting potato crops. These pests are hard to manage and are causing significant economic losses to Canadian farmers. Noronha’s strategies include optimal timing of insecticide application, use of rotational crops, and spring plowing. She also recommends planting crops like buckwheat or brown mustard before potatoes to reduce wireworm populations.

Read More

PCN found for the first time in a potato field in Latvia

A pest never before seen in Latvia – the pale potato cyst nematode (Globodera pallida) – has been identified in a field on a potato farm in the country. Phytosanitary measures have been established for the infected field: a ban on the cultivation of seed potatoes for six years, the cleaning of agricultural tools every time after use, and in those areas where it is possible to eliminate the risk of spreading, the cultivation of plants resistant to pale cyst nematodes.

Read More

‘War on blight’: FAB project funded again to continue monitoring potato blight in the UK

The James Hutton Institute has received funding to continue the “Fight Against Blight” (FAB) project, which monitors potato crop blight in the UK. The 2023 program will focus on sampling late blight outbreaks and assessing fungicide sensitivity. The BlightSpy tool provides data on weather conditions that could lead to blight, aiding effective management. This work is vital for anticipating new blight strains and informing best practices for blight management.

Read More

New era of eco-friendly pesticides: Canada approves field trials for RNAi technology

Renaissance BioScience Corp.’s RNA interference (RNAi) biopesticide technology has gained approval for field study by the Pest Management Research Agency in Canada. The technology targets specific pest genes, providing an eco-friendly alternative to traditional chemical pesticides. Initial priority is given to the Colorado potato beetle, known for its rapid resistance development to chemical pesticides. The company aims to conduct field trials globally. Renaissance also invites partners to develop pest-targeted biopesticides using its RNA technology patent portfolio.

Read More

Japan won’t accept fresh Idaho potatoes, so U.S. lawmakers are pushing for change

Idaho’s congressional delegation, alongside 31 U.S. lawmakers, is pressing the USDA to urge Japan to purchase fresh American potatoes. Currently, a ban, purportedly to protect local farmers and ensure pest-free imports, prevents sales in Japan, a major market for frozen U.S. potatoes. In the letter to the USDA, lawmakers said Japan has no valid justification for the Japanese market to remain closed to fresh potatoes.

Read More

Saving Michigan’s potatoes: Researchers investigate sustainable solutions to combat early die complex

Michigan’s potato industry is threatened by potato early die complex, causing significant losses. Currently, costly pesticides are the main defense. Michigan State University researchers, however, are trialing a sustainable solution using a blend of compost and manure. The goal is to create an affordable, eco-friendly alternative, reducing the disease’s damage rather than eliminating it entirely.

Read More

What was behind Australia’s potato shortage? Wet weather and hard-to-control diseases

Australia faced a severe potato shortage due to wet weather, flooding, and persistent fungal diseases that destroyed crops in Tasmania, Victoria, and South Australia. The weather conditions, coupled with high fuel and fertiliser costs, led to delayed planting and harvesting, creating a ripple effect in the supply chain. Despite being efficient and profitable crops, growers face constant threats from soil-borne diseases. Scientists are working on predicting disease outbreaks through soil moisture and temperature monitoring.

Read More

The battle against viral diseases: Novel strategies for antiviral resistance in potatoes

Scientists at the Inner Mongolia Agricultural University have reviewed advancements in antiviral strategies in potatoes by modifying both viral and plant genes. Potatoes are threatened by viral diseases, causing significant yield losses. Traditional breeding methods have limitations due to the plant’s complex genetic structure. Progress in molecular biology and genetic engineering offers promising strategies, including RNA interference and CRISPR/Cas9, to create virus-resistant crops. RThe Battle Against Viral Diseases in Potatoes:esearchers aim to enhance potato resistance to viruses.

Read More

From awareness to action: International Day of Plant Health webinar addresses plant health management

The CGIAR Plant Health Initiative (PHI) is organizing a webinar to commemorate the 2nd International Day of Plant Health on May 12th, 2023. The event aims to address the growing threat of pests and diseases to crops in food-deficit regions, exacerbated by climate change and weak phytosanitary systems. Stakeholders will discuss strategies to strengthen plant health management capacity in the Global South, focusing on diagnostics, surveillance, integrated pest and disease management, and mycotoxin management across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Read More

British potato growers advised to check weed control before blight spraying

Potato growers are being advised to check fields to determine how well their herbicides have worked before the blight spraying season kicks off, as Richard Allison reports in this news story published by Farmers Weekly. Andrew Goodinson, potato agronomist at crop production specialist Hutchinsons, explains that assessing how well growers’ herbicide sprays have worked can indicate any errors in sprayer set-up.

Read More

Theodor Diener, who discovered the viroid that causes spindle tuber disease, dies at 102

Theodor Diener, a plant pathologist who passed away at 102, discovered the smallest known infectious agent, a viroid, causing spindle tuber disease in potatoes. The disease can reduce crop yields by up to 64%, with containment requiring strict quarantine or crop destruction. Diener’s discovery led to a test for the viroid and earned him the National Medal of Science in 1987.

Read More

Redefining pest control: How IPM transforms potato farming in Australia and New Zealand

Australian entomologist Dr. Paul Horne discussed the benefits of adopting integrated pest management (IPM) practices at a Potatoes New Zealand research update meeting. He shared examples of growers who have successfully implemented IPM, reducing their reliance on chemical sprays and benefiting from biological control methods. Dr. Horne emphasized the importance of considering the impact of spraying on beneficial insects and utilizing cultural controls.

Read More

Battling potato early die complex: Michigan researchers secure USDA grant

A team of Michigan State University researchers has received a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture to develop and evaluate sustainable methods of managing potato early die complex. One of the most destructive diseases, potato early die complex, can reduce yields by as much as 50%. In a recent survey of Michigan potato growers, 45% said potato early die complex was one of their top three disease concerns.

Read More

U.S. potato industry battling viruses: Innovations for a healthier harvest show promising results

PRAC’s Potato Virus Initiative has made progress in efforts to manage potato viruses, optimizing tools for PVY testing, and identifying resistance sources against PMTV and powdery scab. The project focuses on preventing virus spread, enhancing detection methods, and discovering new resistance sources, with successful outreach efforts to share research findings nationwide.

Read More

The next frontier in farming: Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to detect crop diseases are on the way

Blights are destroying rubber trees in Brazil and ravaging potatoes in South India. Unpredictable and erratic weather patterns brought on by climate change will only exacerbate these problems — and, scientists say, make crop diseases more likely to strike and inflict major damage. Plant pathologist Karen Garrett of the University of Florida, Gainesville, believes that artificial intelligence (AI) could be immensely valuable in fighting these blights.

Read More

P.E.I. Potato Board loses court battle over seed potato export ban

The Prince Edward Island Potato Board in Canada is claiming partial victory, after losing its court battle to lift the export ban on seed potatoes. The Federal Court of Canada has now issued a written decision, denying the potato board’s request for a judicial review. But the board said it did have some successes in court.

Read More

Prince Edward Island potato wart dispute: Canadian federal court backs CFIA and Minister of Agriculture

The Government of Canada accepts the decision rendered by the Federal Court today, resulting from an application for judicial review brought by the Prince Edward Island Potato Board (PEI PB), according to a news release issued by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The Government says it accepts the decision of the Federal Court, which dismissed the application for Judicial Review because the decisions under review were either moot or reasonable.

Read More

Weather challenges impact British potato growers’ planting, weed control efforts

Potato growers in the UK are facing challenges in weed control due to delayed planting caused by a wet March, which saw 80% more rainfall than usual, according to a news report by FarmingUK. Corteva Agriscience notes that planting is now in progress, but maincrop potatoes are likely to be drilled later than intended. Persistent April showers may have also disrupted the application of residual herbicides.

Read More

Editor & Publisher: Lukie Pieterse

Feel free to get in touch with Lukie!
He’ll be most happy to share your company’s news stories on Potato News Today and its affiliated social media channels.
Connect on LinkedIn
Follow on Twitter
About us

Promote your company here

Go here to learn how we can help you to promote your company to our global readership, or get in touch with Lukie directly to discuss promotion options: