Spud seed warning
POTATO growers sowing uncertified seed from this years crop run serious risks of trouble in store and transfer of disease infection to subsequent ware crops, says Tom Dixon, NIAB head of potatoes.
"This has been a particularly bad year for tuber health. The warm, wet weather earlier in the year gave rise to severe blight and bacterial blackleg problems.
"Although foliar attack appears to have been adequately controlled in the field, there is no sure way of checking the tubers for infection as crops go into store."
Seed-borne infections such as black scurf, rhizoctonia, pink rot and rubbery rot also reached high levels this year, he warns. *