Act now on potato skin spot

POTATO SKIN spot incidence will be obvious in stores now and store managers must make regular, thorough checks, the British Potato Council has advised.


Problems could be greater this year as the disease is more of a threat in cool, wet seasons, especially when crops have been lifted in the wet, on heavy soils, according to the BPC.


“Now is a crucial time to be checking stores,” said Jeff Peters, pathologist at the BPC‘s Sutton Bridge Experimental Unit.


“Unlike other skin diseases, you don‘t get [skin spot] symptoms until after Christmas.”


King Edward, Cara and Desiree are varieties at particularly high risk from the disease, he said, urging growers to take tuber samples throughout the store, especially before a bulk load goes out.


Crops cured at store loading are likely to be at lower risk from the disease, Dr Peters added.


Growers should also watch out for any skin spot incidence on potato seed brought onto the farm for the coming season, he noted.


Practical advice from the BPC on potato storage is available via a new free phone number 08000 282111, or alternatively visit www.potato.org.uk for detailed guidance notes.

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