Verticillium wilt, a major component of potato early dying, is caused by the soilborne fungus, Verticillium dahliae, which causes wilt and crop loss in a range of plants and produces microsclerotia in infected plant tissues. Microsclerotia have thick cell walls that are resistant to harsh conditions, allowing the fungus to live in the soil for up to 15 years without a suitable host plant.
Infection by V. dahliae occurs at the root tip then travels up into the vascular tissue of the plant where it produces a toxin that disrupts the vascular system and prevents water from moving out to the leaves. Symptoms of infection include stunted plants, chlorosis, necrosis and wilt. There are a number of resistant potato varieties, including the moderately resistant Ranger and Umatilla russets. Russet Burbank is moderately susceptible, with stunting, chlorosis and wilt noticeable 13 weeks after inoculation. Russet Norkotah is
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Slowing down for 72-year-old Allen Floyd means taking on the responsibilities of the chairman of the United Potato Growers of America for 2008. The Othello, Wash., grower and packer helped form the United co-op in Washington and Oregon and is hoping that he can help the national group continue to grow. Albert Wada, the Idaho grower who helped start the Idaho and national co-ops, handed the reigns over the Floyd at the United meeting in January.
Floyd is the general manager and president for Harvest Fresh Produce Co., a venture hes a part owner of with two other partners. Hes also one of four partners in HF Farms, the growing operation that supplies the packing shed.
His uncle started Harvest Fresh in 1969, and two years later Floyd bought into the business. Today, the packing shed ships Russet Norkotahs under its own HF Farms label and
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USDA released its agricultural projections through 2017 in February, and the report indicates that agriculture industries are poised for some good years ahead.
Rising costs labor, fuel and land will increasingly be offset by rising agricultural exports and changes in consumer spending, according to the report. Growth in developing countries, a weak dollar and steady population growth will drive agricultural exports to $103 billion by 2017, according to USDA.
One of the most interesting sections of the agricultural report is the breakdown on consumer food spending. In 2007, Americans spent $583.6 billion on food at home, compared to $554.1 billion on food away from home. By 2012 just a few years from now money spent on food away from home is projected to surpass in-home, and by 2017 food bought away from home will make up 52 percent of total food
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Most vegetable growers probably have panic attacks just from the thought of a massive fungicide failure. Virtually every crop has its potential plague, and most growers know of times when fungicides failed if not for them, for others.
Like when metalaxyl lost its ability to control late blight on potatoes and tomatoes. Or when benomyl failed to control powdery mildew on cucurbits, and later DMIs failed, too. Or, when DMI fungicides failed against powdery mildew in grapes and then against apple scab, leading to damage in Eastern and Midwestern orchards and vineyards. Or, when strobilurins failed against downy mildew in cucumbers.
The list of examples is quite long, and growing steadily.
When resistance appears, formerly effective fungicides become as rainwater on ducks, turning poisons to potions having reduced effects or even none.
For many years, growers were content to abandon the old and change to new fungicides,
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