UK: Potato growers alerted to spread of alternaria infections

Incidences of the potato disease alternaria is increasing, growers attending a Potato Council winter forum in Shropshire were warned. Potato crop expert John Keer, of Richard Austin Agriculture, told the meeting climate change, changes in fungicide use and variety choice could be behind the spread of the disease. Dr Keer said: “Warmer summers could be a developing threat because the disease favours warm summers. “As the weather gets hotter, alternaria will be our main foliar disease.” Although there are two different species of the disease – alternaria solani and alternaria alternata – Mr Keer said it was very difficult to tell the difference between the two in the field. More