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NDSU Potato Blightline to Operate in 2012 (5/31/12)

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 2012. Based on the amount of late blight found in 2011, there is a good chance that late blight will be present in 2012 if conditions are favorable.

The NDSU Blightline is the first place to go to get the most recent blight updates and management information.

This will be the eighteenth year that this service has been provided by NDSU and sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection. The hotline uses local weather data collected from weather stations throughout our area to forecast the occurrence and spread of late blight in fifteen non-irrigated and twelve irrigated production areas in ND and western MN.  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 forecast information is used by plant pathologists Gary Secor and Neil Gudmestad to make late blight management and fungicide recommendations. The recommendations are made Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week during the growing season. The first late blight hotline will be Friday June 1st, and it is anticipated that the Blightline will continue through mid-September depending on disease pressure. The Blightline will also be used to confirm reported late blight sightings and serve as a clearing house for national late blight information. In addition to late blight forecasting, the hotline also provides cumulative P-values (probabilities) for early blight disease forecasting and management recommendations. Finally, it serves to alert growers of other disease and insect news, 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 ND to pictorially illustrate the late blight severity values (both two day and seasonal), favorable day values and P-day values for early blight throughout ND. That site is: www.ndawn.ndsu.nodak.edu Go to applications and then click the potatoes drop down box.

Current and archival information on late blight and other potato diseases, and research trial data, can also be found at http://www.ndsu.edu/potato_pathology

You can also connect to the latest blight hotline news and message update reminders by text messaging BLIGHTND to 97063, or on Twitter follow @SyngentaSpuds.

Growers and scouts are encouraged to send suspect late blight samples to us for positive identification. Late blight is a community disease and proper identification and prompt notification is important. Leaf samples should be placed in a slightly inflated zip-lock plastic bag without a wet towel and sent to:

NOTE new mailing address: Gary Secor, NDSU Dept 7660, PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108. Our phone number is 701.231.8362 and email address is gary.secor@ndsu.edu. We wish you a successful potato year.

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