Dirty seed blamed for blighted spuds
INFECTED seed is responsible for many blight infections this season, claims one Yorks agronomist.
He is now urging all growers to hit the disease hard to prevent contaminated tubers going into store.
"Infected seed has to be the main innoculum source. It may be a hot potato with the seed suppliers, but how else do you explain individual plants, 50 yards apart, that emerge already infected with the disease?" says Eric Hutchinson, technical manager with BCS Agriculture.
Mildly infected seed, carrying spores in the tuber, rather than blighted tubers themselves, are the problem, he maintains.
"The same will happen again and again until we get the weather for a low blight year. We need to look more carefully for an in-seed test for blight," he says. *