By Vikram Bisht MAFRD
Sept. 24, 2014, Manitoba – The production season is almost over and Manitoba has been lucky to not have any report of late blight so far, reports Vikram Bisht in the latest Manitoba potato report. Late blight has been reported from all other major potato producing provinces.
Harvest is progressing well in most areas of the province. Light frost on Sept. 12 did affect foliage in a few fields; the incidences were scattered and generally affected the top foliage. Tubers were not frost damaged.
Some potatoes are being directly shipped from fields to processors. For those crops going into storage, it is important to think about management of storage diseases, right from the field being harvested. It is important to harvest wet spots in the field last and store separately, or schedule the harvest so that tubers from wet areas are at the front of the pile and easily accessed when required. Checking of a few fields being harvested showed low levels of leak, pink rot and soft rot infections. It is best to grade out the affected and broken tubers, since these could be the source of hot spots in storage later.
Post-harvested treatment with phosphorus acid products could be considered, especially for fields where tuber quality could be an issue. Other types of post-harvest treatments are also available, and may be used depending upon the expected risk(s).