Pests and Diseases

Drone spraying of crops takes off globally as regulations relax

Move over dogs – drones are a farmer’s new best friend! In just a few years there’s been a huge rise in the use of drones in agriculture. Their popularity is set to soar globally as countries grant operators permission to also apply crop protection products, writes Mick Roberts in an article published by Future Farming. Recent equipment introductions, and regulation changes in particular, look likely to see aerial applications by UAVs to increase substantially and quickly around the globe.

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GMO blight-resistant potato expected to help over 300,000 farmers in Uganda

Stakeholders working within the potato sector in Uganda are confident about the wide adoption of a new bioengineered late blight resistant potato. Dubbed the “3R Victoria” potato, the yet to be released variety could help over 300,000 smallholder farmers in Uganda achieve higher yields at a lower cost with less exposure to chemicals. At an expert consultative meeting held in[Read More…]

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Potato diseases: Control of Rhizoctonia solani podcast

In this episode, Mike Abram, from the Communications team of Bayer Crop Sciences in the UK, recently caught up with Sam Harvey, who is a Commercial Technical Manager for Bayer, based in and around the Cambridgeshire area. They discussed potatoes and in particular how to control seed- and soil-borne potato diseases. Controlling seed- and soil-borne diseases is important for both[Read More…]

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Canadian drone service company helps farmers to assess crop health

Lee Dodson from Summerside on Prince Edward Island believes he has found a technological way for farmers to have detailed knowledge of the health of their fields without stepping outside. Dodson, CEO of Skygate Drone Services, was one of about 120 exhibitors at this year’s International Potato Technology Expo in Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island this past Friday and Saturday.[Read More…]

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CIP in Uganda: Experts expect 40-50% adoption of new blight resistant GMO potato variety Victoria

Stakeholders working within the potato sector in Uganda are confident about the wide adoption of a new bio-engineered late blight resistant potato. Dubbed the “3R Victoria” potato, the yet to be released International Potato Center (CIP) bred variety could help over 300,000 smallholder farmers in Uganda achieve higher yields at a lower cost with less exposure to chemicals, it is[Read More…]

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Battling late blight: GMO modified Agrico potato varieties soon to be distributed to farmers in Bangladesh

With the objective of eradicating the late blight disease in potato, the Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) in Domar upazila is currently growing trial varieties that are said to be resistant to the disease. Based on the success of growing the trial varieties at its Foundation Seed Potato Production Farm (FSPPF) in Domar, the BADC hopes to distribute seed of[Read More…]

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The PVY scourge: How new potato virus strains are troubling Maine farmers

The rise in rejected seed potatoes from last season’s crop can be blamed on new strains of an old virus, a Maine Potato Board plant pathologist said Tuesday. The Maine Potato Board announced recently that 60 percent more seed potato lots tested in the 2019-2020 Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s annual post-harvest test were rejected than in 2018-2019.[Read More…]

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Reach for your pocket: Rapid tests provide cost-effective solution for potato disease diagnosis

Many growers, advisors and inspectors will be familiar with the symptoms of different potato diseases. However, getting a definitive confirmation of the presence of which disease is affecting a crop is important in preventing a pathogen from becoming a bigger problem. “An easy way of getting a confirmation of the presence of a potato disease is by using rapid tests[Read More…]

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Pathogen attack: Maine Potato Board announces worst Post-Harvest Test since 2012

Maine Potato Board plant pathologist/lab manager Andrew Plant said during a meeting Feb. 12 that the 2019-20 results of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s annual Post-Harvest Test was the worst since 2012-13, Bangor Daily News reports. Plant said that 7.3 percent of all seed potato lots were rejected because of the presence of pathogens within the crop,[Read More…]

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Smart farming: Prince Edward Island potato growers using new decision support tools to improve use of crop protectants

A growing number of Prince Edward Island potato farms in Canada are taking advantage of new technology to improve their use of crop protectants, including fungicides used to prevent late blight. Late blight has historically been a major disease effecting potatoes in Prince Edward Island, with the potential to cause millions of dollars in crop losses if there is a[Read More…]

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Fighting Rhizoctonia: BASF UK teams up with Hummingbird Technologies to measure potato crop emergence

BASF launched the first SDHI fungicide for in-furrow treatment for Rhizoctonia solani in potatoes two years ago. Based on Xemium (fluxapyroxad), ALLSTAR showed excellent efficacy in development trials in the UK to produce brighter, more marketable and more uniform potatoes with fewer skin blemishes. It is a very kind product to the potato, resulting in a more even crop emergence.[Read More…]

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Pesticide debate: Plants make their own 'carcinogenic' pesticides, and we 'eat a lot more of them'

In an ideal world, humans could grow enough food to feed the world without synthetic pesticides, but that is not the world we live in. Readily arable land is limited and all sorts of fauna and flora pests incessantly assault agriculture. At this time, pesticides are necessary tools to stave off our species’ starvation, writes Ross Pomeroy of RealClear Science. Pomeroy[Read More…]

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EPA approval for Syngenta's Vibrance Ultra Potato seed treatment

Vibrance® Ultra Potato seed treatment from Syngenta gives growers the disease-fighting strength they need to start the season strong, the company says. Vibrance Ultra Potato, a combination of three trusted, proven active ingredients, recently received EPA approval for use in potatoes in the US. This all-in-one liquid formulation provides broad-spectrum protection against key seed- and soil-borne diseases, including control of seed-borne[Read More…]

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Species specific insecticide ‘seven-10 years’ away

Using RNA interference (RNAi), a biological process which disrupts the production of an organism’s proteins, Syngenta is looking at a biocontrol method which kills target species but has no impact on any other organism, according to a report by Farmers Guardian. Using Colorado potato beetle as an example pest, Mike Bean, global head, product technology and engineering at Syngenta, told[Read More…]

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Potato late blight in Europe: The hard science

Didier Andrivon from INRA delves into the disease that once killed 1.5 million individuals in Ireland: Potato late blight, also known as Phytophthora Infestans It would be easy to think that a disease peaking over one hundred years ago is no longer a problem, but potato late blight continues to evolve and emerge in new places – similarly to the insidious reach of[Read More…]

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Webinar: Feed the Future – Biotechnology Potato Partnership: Durable late blight resistance to South East Asia

The World Potato Congress (WPC) is pleased to be offering the first webinar in its 2020 series featuring Dr. David Douches on January 24, 2020 at 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time (USA and Canada).  Abstract: The Feed the Future – Biotechnology Potato Partnership (BPP) is a five-year, multi-institution cooperative agreement between MSU, USAID, Simplot Company and other global institutions to develop and bring[Read More…]

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US: Potato pest-management seminar to look at trial results

Results of research trials funded by the Northwest Potato Research Consortium and other publicly funded research will be discussed as part of an upcoming potato pest-management seminar, according to a report by Capital Press. Jeff Miller, plant pathologist and principal with seminar host Miller Research LLC, said the trials looked at 13 measurements on eight varieties — including new Teton,[Read More…]

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Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher of Potato News Today

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