12 July 2002

Blight pressure is building up

WET weather was building severe blight pressure in potatoes earlier this week, with extra warnings emerging by the day on the Blight Forecaster service at www.syngenta-potato.co.uk

Crops in the east have been at high risk for some time, but early warnings predicted medium risk extending into Nottinghamshire and north Lincolnshire by Tuesday, rising to high risk by Wednesday.

Crops in the north-east, Scotland and Northern Ireland, were also predicted to be at medium risk by mid-week.

"Growers will need to select products and timings accordingly," advises Howard Hinds of PlantSystems, which provides the information.

If a spray period has been missed or application delayed possibly add curative C50 (cymoxinil) to a protectant spray, such as Shirlan (fluazinam), to boost kick-back activity, he advises.

Unlike Smith Period blight warnings, Blight Forecaster combines information on current in-crop growing conditions with local weather forecasts to warn of future blight risk, updated every six hours. &#42