Agronomy Update – Sept 7th

Hi everyone,

A quick agronomy update this week, as I’ve been busy with our AIM BBQs across the province this week.  A big thank you to everyone to came out to one of the three events this weekend…we had more than 100 people attend across the three BBQs.  A big thank you to our three host farms (Dock Corner Farms, MWM Farms, and Townshend Potato Co.) for hosting us this week.  Thanks also to Scott Howatt, Humna Khan, and Emily Belliveau for their assistance with digging peek-a-boo plots and/or doing the barbequing!


Pest/Disease Update:

  • Late blight: No late blight has been detected this week on either the Spornado or Airspore traps.
  • Grey mold: Bortrytis spores continue to be very high across the province.  I definitely saw lots of foliar grey mold in some fields this week.  As mentioned before, you may want to rotate in chlorothalonil (Bravo/Echo) into the spray schedule now to provide some grey mold control.
  • Aphids: Green peach aphid numbers continue to increase.  Last week, GPA numbers averaged 5 per trap across the province; however, GPA numbers were much higher in West Prince than in the rest of the province.  Other aphids have also increased significantly in the last week.  I don’t have full results from this week…but some individual trap counts in West Prince were as high as 234 for green peach aphid this week.  This exponential increase is happening at the same time that it did last year.

    If you don’t have your seed killed yet…I would strongly suggest that it should be killed very soon.  Green peach aphid is the most effective vector for the spread of virus and the numbers look to be increasing sharply.


Additional items:

  • I’ll have more to say about this in a future update…but we are already seeing significant water soak damage in wet corners of fields and sprayer tracks. These areas of the field are much more likely to present issues with pink rot, enlarged lenticels, pink eye, Pythium leak, and tuber soft rot.  I would give strong consideration to digging all sprayer track rows last and not putting them into long term storage unless it’s at the front of the pile.  You don’t want a good crop of quality potatoes ruined by these compromised spuds.  It is worth the extra time and effort to find an alternative option to deal with this potatoes.
  • In digging my first 10 foot strips this year for the AIM BBQs, as well as from discussions with growers, I’m seeing/hearing about fewer off-type potatoes this year and less common scab. We need some more sunny days and a lack of rainfall to give the commercial crop the runway it needs to finish bulking.  10 foot samples I dug this week had a low of 175 cwt to a high of 308 cwt.


Have a great weekend everyone, and thanks again to everyone who came out this week.