Across Prince Edward Island, potato fields are at or near row closure and according to P.E.I.’s potato pest update, there is “generally excellent” crop development.
Lorraine MacKinnon, potato industry coordinator with the province’s Agriculture and Land ministry, is the one who compiles the pest update on a weekly basis for Island growers. This update combines information from a variety of sources to provide growers and field staff with general pest levels, but growers are encouraged to make decisions “specific to their own fields” instead of solely rely on the update to make decisions.
The July 16 weekly update reports the weed control has been a challenge and some herbicide injury has been noticed in potato fields. European Corn Borer (ECB) egg masses have been found in West Prince and areas just east of Charlottetown. Some tarnished plant bugs were found, but the damage is not as bad as other years.
Lab results from PEI Analytical Laboratories have identified the following diseases across plant samples sent in, including: bacterial blackleg, brown spot, fusarium, and calico virus. Samples sent in due to poor emergence identified issues such as fusarium, physiologically aged seed, blind sets, bacterial rot and multiple sprouts. Suspect plant samples can be sent to the lab at any time alongside a PEI Analytical Laboratories submission form.
Periods of high late blight risk are predicted for the Island, based on weather alone according to the update, in some locations. The following parts of P.E.I. are predicted to have medium levels of risk for late blight:
- New Glasgow
- Maple Plains
- North Cape