Managing and controlling potato diseases is a complex task for growers, but thanks to efforts by plant pathologists at Michigan State University, their job has gotten a bit easier.
Farmers now have access to eight bulletins, a pocket-sized scouting guide and a Web site that they can refer to for help in identifying and controlling potato diseases.
Willie Kirk and Phill Wharton, plant pathologists at MSU, developed the Web site, http://www.potatodiseases.org, and scouting guide, "Pocket Guide to Disease Scouting in Michigan Potatoes" (bulletin E-2998), as reference tools to help farmers identify common potato diseases in Michigan.
"Our goal is to provide the state's potato growers with the science-based information they need to make decisions to control and prevent potato diseases," Wharton says.
The scouting guide was developed as a pocket reference text for use in disease scouting in potato fields.
Growers may refer to the bulletins or the Web site for control options once a disease is confirmed in their fields. Wharton says the Web site is basically an electronic version of the printed bulletins. It provides up-to-date recommendations, news, alerts and the same basic information as the scouting guide. The eight bulletins are:
- "Late Blight" (bulletin E-2945),
- "White Mold" (E-2989),
- "Common Scab of Potato" (E-2990),
- "Early Blight" (E-2991),
- "Fusarium Dry Rot" (E-2992),
- "Pink Rot" (E-2993),
- "Rhizoctonia Stem Canker and Black Scurf of Potato" (E-2994) and
- "Potato Seed Health Management" (E-2995).
The late blight bulletin costs $2; the others cost $1.50 each. The scouting guide, "A Pocket Guide to Disease Scouting in Michigan Potatoes" (E-2998), costs $10 per copy.
Bulletins can be downloaded as PDFs at http://www.potatodiseases.org/extensionpubs.html or purchased through the MSU Bulletin Office, http://www.emdc.msue.msu.edu/.