Late blight strikes southwestern Man. potato field

Manitoba’s agricultural ministry is reporting a confirmed find of late blight in a potato field in the southwestern municipality of North Cypress on Friday.

The affected parts of the field, in the Carberry area east of Brandon, have been tilled under. Curzate and a contact fungicide have been applied to the rest of the field and surrounding fields, the province said.

A sample of the disease has been collected and will be sent for strain identification, according to the report by provincial plant pathologist Vikram Bisht.

The report said the late blight risk model rates the risk of late blight development from medium to high at various sites.

Bisht recommends producers tighten the frequency of late blight fungicide applications now that inoculum has been found in the areas. "It may be prudent to use systemic (translaminar) fungicides along with contact fungicides in high-risk areas."

However, the forecasted continuation of hot dry weather should limit disease progress and spread.

Producers should continue to monitor. "It is important to scout in wind-protected areas, like fields in valleys and close to tree-line, where the foliage tends to remain wet longer after rains, irrigation or overnight dew," Bisht said.

Related stories:
Shifting sands: Late blight populations changing quickly, March 14, 2012
Late blight found in tomatoes, Sept. 1, 2011

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