Agronomy Update – Sept 2

Hi everyone.  Apologies that my weekly update is a little late…we were a bit late getting spore trap results this week.

Once again, all of the Spornado spore traps across the Island were negative again this week for late blight.

All of the remaining AirSpore results in PEI were once again negative for late blight; however, there were fewer fields tested this week.  As such, I won’t post the same table as I normally do.  However, there are some interesting trends in the spore results:

  • Bortrytis spores (grey mould) are still sky high in many parts of the Island, with one site testing at over 35,000 spores. Most samples are in the high hundreds.  Grey mould is a reality in many fields this year.  If looking to manage grey mould, chlorothalonil (Bravo/Echo) is your main option.
  • We’re starting to see some Fusarium spores show up in the test results, mostly less than 20 per field. Fusarium can also cause wilt/stem rot.
  • Early blight spores have reduced in most areas but remain high in certain fields. The same trend is generally seen for brown spot.  At this point, most people have done their treatments for early blight and brown spot and any progression in these foliar diseases will be part of the senescence of the crop.

Lots of folks are starting to dig some 10-foot strips, and so far it appears that the crop is ahead of last year’s pace on many varieties.  That should allow growers to dig a little earlier this year if the weather cooperates without sacrificing yield.


Cover Crop Trial Fields – Living Labs:

Morgan and I are looking for some farms again this fall who are interested in participating in cover crop trials following potato harvest as part of the Living Labs project.  Specifically, we’re looking for farms in the Kensington North, East Prince and Souris areas who are interesting in one of the following comparisons:

– comparing fall rye to barley or oats

– comparing different rates of fall rye

– comparing two different methods of cover crop establishment

– comparing winter barley to fall rye


Participants get land rental payment for their participation, and besides establishing the trial, all other work is done by us.  Priority is on fields harvested early (Sept 15 to Oct 5) but we can look at some later trials, particularly if using fall rye.

Please reach out to me or Morgan ASAP if you would be interested in doing a trial.  Also remember that cover crops are eligible for $75/acre from the OFCAF program administered by the PEI Federation of Agriculture as well!

Have a great Labour Day weekend!