May 16, 2017
NDSU to operate free Potato Blightline service

The Plant Pathology Department at North Dakota State University will again be providing the potato Blightline service at no charge to the potato industry of North Dakota and western Minnesota in 2017.

This year it may be important to monitor the Blightline closely since late blight was found in the area last year and the wet conditions favorable for late blight spread and infection at the end of the growing season last year.

This will be the 23rd year that this service has been provided by NDSU and has been continually sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection. The hotline collects data collected from weather stations in fifteen non-irrigated and twelve irrigated production areas in North Dakota and western Minnesota. The data is processed by the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) and analyzed by a computer program (WISDOM) to forecast when conditions are favorable for late blight to occur. The program also provides forecasting information for the development of early blight of potato.

The forecast information is used by plant pathologists Gary Secor and Neil Gudmestad, and Extension Potato Specialist Andy Robinson, to make late blight management and fungicide recommendations and notify the industry of the status of late blight and other pertinent potato information in our region. Recommendations are made initially on a weekly basis, but are updated more frequently as severity values increase or late blight is found.

The Blightline will begin Monday June 1, and will continue through mid-September depending on disease pressure. The Blightline will also be used to confirm reported late blight sightings and serve as clearing house for national late blight information. In addition to late blight forecasting, the hotline also provides cumulative P-values for early blight disease forecasting and management recommendations. Finally, it serves to alert growers of other disease and insect issues, as well as posting messages of general interest such as potato field day dates.

The hotline recommendations can be accessed by phone or website. The toll free phone number is 888-482-7286.

The NDAWN website for potato disease forecasting contains colored maps of North Dakota to pictorially illustrate the late blight severity values (both two day and seasonal), favorable day values and P-day values for early blight throughout North Dakota. That site is: Go to applications then potato late blight.

Current and archival information on late blight and other potato diseases, and research trial data, can also be found at and

Growers and scouts are encouraged to send suspect late blight samples to NDSU for positive identification. Late blight is a community disease and proper identification and prompt notification is important. Leaf samples should be placed in a deflated zip-lock plastic bag without a wet towel and sent to Gary Secor, NDSU Dept 7660, Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108.

For more information call 701-231-8362 or email [email protected].

— Gary Secor, Neil Gudmestad, Andy Robinson, NDSU Plant Pathology Department

Source: Potato Bytes, Northern Plains Potato Growers Association


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