POTATO GROWERS have been advised to keep on top of blight control programmes as crops enter a period of rapid haulm growth.

Systemic fungicides are best used during the current rapid growth phase, according to ADAS blight expert Nick Bradshaw.

“Systemics protect new foliage and give added insurance should unfavourable spraying conditions occur,” he advised.

“Where contact or translaminar products are the preferred choice, intervals shouldn‘t be allowed to slip and certainly not beyond 10 days.”

But growers should switch from systemics to products with combined translaminar and contact activity in earlier-planted crops which have just reached canopy complete, said Agrovista‘s Mark Palmer.

A propamocarb-based systemic product is more suited to later-planted crops, now meeting along rows and speeding through rapid haulm growth, he added.

“Propamocarb‘s the only active ingredient delivering the three essentials of rapid haulm protection,” he explained.

“It‘s highly mobile, works with multi-site action and acts against all strains of the disease, including those that are phenylamide resistant.”

Disease pressure is currently low, according to samples sent in to the British Potato Council Fight Against Blight service by BPC blight scouts.

Two new blight outbreaks where confirmed recently in a single plant in a crop of Maris Piper in the West Midlands and several primary foci were found in crops of Estima in Somerset.

More information can be found on the BPC website.