Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 2°C

Search

Growers urged to act against new form of potato blight now found in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 17:52 28 March 2018 | UPDATED: 17:52 28 March 2018

Signs of blight on a potato plant.

Signs of blight on a potato plant.

Archant

Potato growers are being warned to change their blight control strategies this season to combat the spread of an aggressive fungicide-resistant strain of the disease which has reached Suffolk.

Hutchinsons root crop technical manager Darryl Shailes.Hutchinsons root crop technical manager Darryl Shailes.

The dark green 37_A2 form of Phytopthora infestans has quickly spread across Europe, reaching England two years ago when five cases were reported.

Around 20 cases were officially recorded in 2017, mainly in the West Midlands, Yorkshire and Kent, and more recently in Suffolk.

However, Darryl Shailes, root crop technical manager at agronomy firm Hutchinsons, believes the actual figure could be higher, with all crops – no matter where they are grown – potentially at risk.

The new strain is at least, if not more, aggressive than the dominant blue 13 and pink 6 forms of blight, but the crucial difference is that it appears equally aggressive on foliar and tuber blight, he says

In addition, dark green 37 has reduced sensitivity to fluazinam, which features in many fungicides often used towards the end of the season to reduce tuber blight.

“There was a massive failure of fluazinam at the Eurofins blight trials last year and dark green 37 was implicated in several cases of store breakdown,” said Mr Shailes.

“Fluazinam has been a cost-effective option for tuber and foliar blight, especially against the blue 13 strain, but until we have access to real-time information to determine the exact genotype of blight spores present in the field, we have to question its position in blight programs.

“The yield loss from foliar infection of blight is often very small except in the worst years but the consequential losses from tuber blight can be massive.”

Mr Shailes added that the aggressiveness of new blight strains, combined with the fact that, in certain weather conditions, blight can be present as crops emerge, means it is vital to manage risk from the outset.

“There is a myriad of materials growers can use instead of fluazinam,” he said. “As with any fungicide strategy, alternate chemistry so you’re not relying on any one active ingredient or mode of action.”

It is thought that dark green 37 is most likely to have reached the UK in imported seed, but it also spreads via airborne spores.

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Here is a chart of the top 100 companies in the county. Find out which sectors have fared best and worst.

More than 100 people could be facing the prospect of losing their jobs this Christmas in one Suffolk town.

The German budget supermarket chain is moving into a town still reeling from the loss of its M&S and Asda.

‘There is a tendency to talk Essex down - London looks down on our ability to prosper. But we should be hugely proud of our county.’ That’s the message from Adam Jones, a partner at Birketts law firm and one of the masterminds behind a new report showing profits at Essex’s top 100 firms have shot up by 14.3% in the last year.

Christmas has arrived in the Ipswich high street with festive displays in many windows - we find out what is selling fast and how sales are comparing to last year.

Management Jobs

Show Job Lists

Most read

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24