Agronomy Update – July 20

Hi everyone,

This will be a short agronomy update, as I’m in Montana for the Potato Association of America Meeting this week.  Learning lots of interesting stuff about potato research across North America…I’ll hopefully have some tidbits to share with you next week.

One interesting presentation from Mark Pavek of WSU showed that there was a noticeable reduction of yield planting west to east versus north to south or northwest to south east.  This has something to do with the angle of the light on the crop.  Just a cool little factoid to share.

Some rainfall totals from (UPEI weather stations)

Station Last 48h (mm) Last 7 days (mm)
Tignish 21.0 34.2
O’Leary 31.8 55.8
Fox Island 32.4 53.4
Belmont Lot 16 20.4 33.6
Malpeque 6.6 19.2
Newton 21.0 39.6
Augustine Cove 97.0 119.3
New Glasgow 30.0 49.8
Morell 13.2 16.8
Vernon River 6.0 6.6
Heatherdale 10.2 15.0
East Baltic 14.4 24.0


Looks like rainfall has generally been higher in Prince County, with some isolated communities on the south shore having very high rainfall due to some intense thunderstorms.  A majority of the Island got close to or more than an inch of rain in the last 7 days.  The crop will need that moisture during these hot and humid temperatures along with the hot wind experienced today.  Thankfully, most fields are closed in and are shading out the ground already, so this will keep the hills from drying out quite so fast.


Airspore Results for Alternaria/Bortrytis (July 16/18).  Supplied by Airspore.

Location Early Blight
(A. solani)
Brown Spot
(A. alternata)
Bortrytis cinerea
West Prince (ave of 8 sites) 40 4 12
East Prince (ave of 5 sites) 39 3 24
Queens (ave of 3 sites) 47 0 12
Eastern Kings (6 sites) 22 4 13


All sites for both Spornado and Airspore were negative for Late Blight this week.

We are now in the first peak of early blight (Alternaria solani) across the whole province.  If you don’t have an early blight spray on yet, the time would be now to do so for particularly susceptible varieties.  Interestingly, we aren’t seeing many spores for brown spot yet.  Perhaps after this very hot week, we may start seeing that next week.  There are some Bortrytis spores showing up but not at very high levels.  We don’t usually get too worried about Bortrytis until the numbers are in the 100s.  If you are looking to keep Bortrytis (grey mould) in check this season, consider an application or two of chlorothalonil (Bravo/Echo), particularly later in the season.

Stay tuned for Lorraine MacKinnon’s Pest Update later this week, as she’ll be able to update you on what was reported at the Crop Update meeting held yesterday at the Board office.

Also…please tentatively keep August 23rd to 25th in mind….that is the week that I am planning to hold AIM Field Tours and BBQs.  The plan is to do a West, Central and East tour that week from 10:30 to 12:30, followed by a BBQ at a partnering farm.  I’m still nailing down which tour on which day, but please keep those dates in mind and I should have a final agenda for you next week.

Have a great rest of the week everyone…stay cool.