The 2011 season brings minimal diseases in potato crops

Heavy fungicide usage from seed treatment to foliar applications is the reason why diseases in potatoes have been low this growing season.

Generally, diseases in potato crops have been minimal in 2011, mostly due to heavy fungicide usage from seed treatment to foliar applications made due to the threat of seed-borne late blight. Two companies reported selling out of seed treatments for potato seed piece application nationally. The additional benefits of seed treatments include suppression of seed and soil borne diseases such as Rhizoctonia stem and stolon canker, and Fusarium seed decay.

So far, the major diseases appearing in Michigan have been Botrytis and white mold in early-planted crops in southwest Michigan. Growers could consider an application of Scala for Botrytis, and Endura or Omega for white mold (see article on White mold or Sclerotinia stem rot in potatoes).

Dr. Kirk’s work if funded in part by MSU’s AgBioResearch.

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