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.