As Manitoba harvest gets underway, growers are warned against pink rot

Potato processor J.R. Simplot is reminding Canadian growers to beware of pink rot as they begin harvest. The fungal disease has been an issue for a number of Manitoba producers in recent years, the company said.

Spoilage is the ultimate problem when it comes to the pathogen. From the outside, producers will notice dark brownish-gray discolouration on infected potatoes, which is easy to mistake for late blight. The most telling sign, however, happens after slicing. Upon exposure to air, the inside of the potato will take on a rosy hue, which gives the disease its name.

According to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, this first colour change occurs about 20 minutes after cutting. Within about an hour, the colour is much less appetizing. Tuber flesh darkens to gray (also described as brown by some extension materials), and then black.


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