Pests and Diseases

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…]

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…]

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…]

Pythium leak: Researchers show that soil pathogens spread after heat and drought stress

Climate change is affecting the health of agricultural soils. Increased heat and drought make life easy for the pathogenic fungus Pythium ultimum. As an international team of researchers led by the Universities of Kassel and Bonn has shown, the fungus causes almost total crop failure in peas after a hot and dry stress event. Short-term soil recovery seems to be[Read More…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

The world we live in: Wearing face masks, Chinese potato farmers start plowing

Wearing a face mask, farmer Qiu Youliang headed to the fields early in the morning in east China’s Shandong Province. Qiu is from Qiuzhuang Village in the city of Tengzhou, known for its potato fields. Early February, or around the Chinese solar term of “beginning of spring,” is the best time for growing spring potatoes here. Although the spread of[Read More…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

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…]

Gowan acquires late blight, rhizoctonia protection agents from Bayer in the US

Gowan Crop Protection Limited, an affiliate of Gowan Co. LLC., has entered into agreements with Bayer AG to acquire rights to the active ingredients fenamidone and pencycuron in the US. The acquisition includes product registrations and trademarks including Consento, Reason, Monceren, and Prestige, and related intellectual property and labels for both fungicides. The transactions closed Dec. 1, although Bayer and Gowan[Read More…]

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…]

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…]

‘Post-chemical world’ takes shape as agribusiness goes green

Agribusiness is increasingly turning to natural and sustainable alternatives to chemicals as consumers rebuff genetically modified foods and concerns grow over Big Ag’s role in climate change. At the heart of the trend are innovations that harness beneficial microorganisms in the soil, including seed-coatings of naturally occurring bacteria and fungi that can do the same work as traditional chemicals, from[Read More…]

Lukie Pieterse, Editor and Publisher

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