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Bacterial ring rot in Idaho

Idaho growers are seeing a cyclical recurrence of bacterial ring rot (BRR), according to University of Idaho Extension seed potato specialist Phil Nolte.

  “We last saw problems with it in 2002 and there was an earlier flare up in the mid-1990s,” Nolte said. “Growers then controlled the disease and largely eliminated it by stepping up their sanitation practices while cutting seed during spring planting and thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting all equipment and storages between crops.”

The cyclical appearance of BRR has much to do with relaxed vigilance by both seed producers and commercial growers.

“After it appears, everyone is very aware and aggressive in their sanitation programs. Then we don’t see bacterial ring rot for several years and people get complacent,” Nolte said.
Nolte recommends testing seed potatoes for BRR if they were not directly exposed to diseased lots. If there is any risk that a lot was exposed to the disease, it should not be used as seed.

In “Guidelines for Recognizing and Managing Bacterial Ring Rot of Potato,” Nolte and Nora Olsen, potato storage expert at the Kimberly Research and Extension Center,  offer cleaning and disinfection recommendations to growers. A copy of the guide is available upon request via email from either Nolte at pnolte@uidaho.edu or Olsen at norao@uidaho.edu.

Originally posted Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012

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