According to a report by Potatoes in Canada, the Potato Growers of Alberta (PGA) will continue to run pest and disease programs to help the Alberta potato industry during the 2019 growing season.
Agricultural director Thomas McDade said the PGA, along with industry partners, will deploy an in-field network of late blight spore traps and insect cards throughout the potato growing areas of Alberta.
Funding for these project is through the Alberta Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP) grant program. The CAP funding will ensure that the Late Blight and Insect Monitoring programs, will run annually until the end of 2022.
For the late blight in-field spore monitoring network, 15 spore traps will be deployed once again this year and weekly reports regarding late blight spore activity will be provided to potato growers. In conjunction with these reports, the PGA provides PAM cast reports based on weather data that is compiled from a network of private industry and government owned weather stations.
The weather stations provide a predictive model of the possibility of late blight developing based on favorable weather conditions. The current late blight spore trap and weather station network has been very effective in the past in detecting localized spore activity.
In addition, the PGA is in the early stages of establishing an integrated pest management program, with expanded public education and extension programs.