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UK: Farmers urged to protect potato crops against late blight

Emerging potato cropPotato growers are being urged to protect emerging crops against late blight despite the prevailing cool conditions keeping inoculum levels in check. Blight populations in the UK are now dominated by two blight strains – pink 6_A1 and blue 13_A2 – which are more aggressive and have the ability to infect plants at lower temperatures, earlier in the season. Agrochemical giant Syngenta has reflected this shift by reducing temperature to two consecutive days at 8C for its Blightcast decision support tool criteria. In Kent, Zantra agronomist Kevin Knight says the first blight symptoms were found on foliage in a potato dump last week despite the cool weather and fires a strong warning shot. More