Potato Field

Tips for late blight prevention and control

{Sponsored} Late blight can cause catastrophic damage to a field of potatoes in quick order. The intensive management required to keep it in check is a feat of strength if the right tools aren’t applied.

The lesions from late blight are large and can stop photosynthesis, destroying the plant and eventually the tubers. It can linger in cull piles and come back in volunteers if management is not proper to prevent it. All in all, it’s a disease that needs to be prevented and attacked promptly if it is found in a field, as the entire crop is at risk when unchecked.

“With late blight, conditions are conducive for infection and spread when we have wet and humid weather in spring and summer,” said Tye Shauck, technical services representative at BASF Corporation.

Late blight treatment options

Traditional fungicides can have resistance management issues, so it is important to tank-mix fungicides with different modes of action. A great tool to add to the mix is Forum® fungicide. As a late blight specialist, it works by disrupting cell walls, preventing the fungus from spreading. When tank-mixed with multi-site inhibitors, it works even better.

Forum® fungicide also works as a preventative for late blight, which is important if a field’s conditions are often prime for its spread, or if it is resurging from the previous growing season. As growers are scouting for pests and other diseases, they should take special note of low-lying or wet areas in a field.

What to do if late blight is found

This devastating disease hinges on a community management approach. Besides scouting frequently and thoroughly, applying Forum® fungicide preventatively is just one step in the battle. If late blight is found, it is imperative that university Extension agents are contacted. The Extension agents will confirm the presence of late blight and alert neighboring farms so that the growers in the area are prepared for the inevitable infection.

Forum® fungicide is important not just for growing season, but also for tubers in storage.“If we protect plants, we protect tubers. We don’t want them going into storage with blight infections,” Shauck said.

How to apply Forum® fungicide

Shauck recommends that growers apply Forum® fungicide at a rate of 5.5-6 ounces per acre, in a tank mix with multi-site inhibitors, in fields where late blight is already present. “When late blight is present, Forum® fungicide is very effective at reducing sporulation, so it reduces or stops spread,” Shauck said. As a specialist for late blight in potatoes, Forum® fungicide can also be used successfully to prevent the disease from infecting plants by preventing and stopping sporulation.

© 2020 BASF Corporation. All rights reserved.



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