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UK: Project aims to rid potato sector of blackleg disease

Blackleg is a major problem for potato growersThe bacterial disease blackleg has proved to be a tough one to control but it is hoped a £300,000 joint AHDB Potatoes and Scottish Government research project, now in its final year, will come up with some of the answers. Gerry Saddler, of SASA, has been working on secondment to the project. Speaking to growers at an event held at James Rhind and Co’s farm at Woodside, Kinloss, on the Moray coast, he said: “Blackleg is a problem all over northern Europe and it is by far the biggest reason for the downgrading and rejection of seed in this country. In Pre-Basic Four crops (PB4), post-harvest surveys revealed that 100% of crops tested were infected with pectobacterium atrosepticum, the blackleg pathogen. More