Michigan is the nation’s leading producer of potatoes for potato chips, and potato farmers across the state harvest 1.7 billion pounds annually. That is why it’s concerning that, by July of any given summer, up to half of the state’s potato leaves suffer the effects of potato early die complex.
Potato early die complex is an infectious disease that pose a threat to some 46,000 acres of potatoes in Michigan. If no treatment is pursued, the disease can cost commercial potato farms a lot of money.
Michigan State University researchers, armed with a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, hope that a special blend of manure and compost will limit the spread of early die complex, without the use of harmful chemicals.