AS POTATO cyst nematode continues to spread across the country the combined threat from PCN and spraing is set to become more common, experts have warned.

Since the first national survey of PCN in 1998, when PCN was recorded on two thirds of the potato area, the disease has continued to advance, Harper Adams‘ Pat Haydock said.

“Every year we‘re seeing soil samples from previously clean ground containing PCN. Frequently infestation is carried by machinery between fields so PCN land rarely stays free for long.”

Growers should therefore look to treat processing crops – which are more prone to displaying spraing symptoms – with a dual PCN and spraing product, said Bayer Crop Sciences‘s Bill Lankford.

“In the future processing crop growers will increasingly need to call on a treatment with flexibility to tackle both together.”

Bayer trials found that a new lower 100kg/ha rate of Mocap (ethoprophos) produced yields around 4t/ha above competitor nematicides Nemathorin and Vydate (oxamyl) and comparable with Temik (aldicarb), he said.

“Although the new rate is not yet on Mocap‘s label, it is now fully warranted by the company, so growers can use it from this season with confidence,” he said.