Overall potato production in Canada dropped by 2.6 per cent, according to the latest estimate from the United Potato Growers of Canada (UPG).
Manitoba, in general, had a slightly delayed start of planting in 2018; about a week later thanin 2017, reports Vikram Bisht in the first Manitoba Potato Disease Report of the season. The majority of planting started in first week of May, and mostly finished by the end of May. Early planted fields have good emergence. June 1 has been set for initiation/accumulation of P-Days and late blight Disease Severity Values. P-day is a measure of heat available for crop growth and development, and values accumulate when temperatures range between 7 C and 30 C.
Weather conditions since planting have been very warm, with a few days over 30 C. Precipitation has been below normal for May, except for a few scattered heavy rain events towards end of May. This week’s rain should help ingood emergence and stand.
The current soil temperatures are 2 C to 5 C warmer than end of May last year. These warm soil temperatures and may speed up emergence.
Cull piles are an important source of inoculum for many diseases including late blight. It is important to dispose of properly the cull piles before thunderstorms arrive.
May 27, 2016, Prince Edward Island – Prince Edward Island potato growers got a bit of a head start to planting this year, says Greg Donald, manager of the P.E.I. Potato Board. Donald estimated that between 65 and 75 per cent of the Island’s 2016 potato crop was in the ground mid-week. | READ MORE
May 4, 2016, Ontario – The early-planted potato crop in the Leamington area is sprouting nicely with strong, healthy sprouts. In the Simcoe-Delhi area, the second earliest area, planting is progressing well, according to the potato crop update from Eugenia Banks.
A few seed lots coming from other provinces had high incidence of common scab and silver scurf.
Seed-borne silver scurf
Silver scurf is a serious problem for fresh market growers. The fungus causes silvery brown lesions that can grow and join together covering most of the skin of the tuber. The fungus does not survive for very long in the soil, but does move from infected seed to daughter tubers. The variety Superior is very susceptible to silver scurf. If infected seed is planted, plan to harvest the crop as soon as the skin is set. Leaving potatoes in the ground after skin set stimulates the development of the fungus and results in more blemishes. Silver scurf also spreads easily in storage. High humidity increases sporulation, and air circulation in the pile spreads the spores to healthy tubers.
Quadris in-furrow and Emesto Silver as a seed treatment are labelled for silver scurf. Post-harvest applications of phosphorous-acid based fungicides have been reported to reduce the incidence of silver scurf.
There were several outbreaks of late blight this year on potatoes and tomatoes grown in Florida. South Carolina has also reported late blight on tomatoes. All of the outbreaks were caused by US 23 strain. According to the potato pathologist at the University of Wisconsin, US 23 is susceptible to Ridomil.
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