Entomologists from the University of Idaho are leading ten state research projects, that are focused on two viruses, potentially devastating to seed potato farmers.
According to professor and project leader Alexander Karasev, one of their targets is potato mop-top virus, which has been found in six states. Karasev: "The second virus is potato virus Y. It can lead to a downgrade of seed potato loads, but also, a potato [infected with potato virus Y] may induce a disease which is called potato tuber necrotic ringspot disease, making fresh market tubers completely unusable."
He added that in the short-term, researchers are looking to provide recommendations and tools to give growers a chance to control the virus. According to a University of Idaho study, potato virus Y costs the "Gem State" roughly $34 million dollars in annual losses.