Fungicide vital to save tubers
LUSH canopies and damp soils mean it is not hard to find stem blight in crops from Yorks to Cambs, says David Hudson, potato specialist at Sutton Bridge, Lincs.
"We are now looking at some quite nice quality tubers and there is no cracking to talk about. But some of the stem blight is quite low down and will be dribbling spores on to the tubers."
Preventing that happening by applying an anti-sporrulant fungicide will be vital, he suggests.
"You really need a two-pronged attack. You must keep the canopy clean to stop disease spreading. We favour cymoxanil/mancozeb products like Curzate and Systol for that."
Tin-based fungicides or possibly Shirlan (fluazinam) will be required to prevent tuber blight developing, he says.
• Serious blight year.
• Reduced plantings.
• Long-term storage concerns.
• Severe test for new products.
• Intensive spraying advised.