Potato Diseases in Cool and Wet Soils (06/06/13)
Potato Diseases in Cool and Wet Soils
Many growers who planted potatoes a few weeks ago have yet to see potatoes emerging because of the cool soil temperatures. Not only does the weather slow down growth, but it favors bacterial seed decay and Rhizoctonia stem canker of the emerging sprouts. There is little that can be done for planted potatoes to manage these diseases. However, if planting has not yet taken place NDSU research recommends managing seed-borne Rhizoctonia by applying a seed treatment such as Maxim, Emesto Silver or mancozeb plus either Quadris or Moncut in furrow if fields have a history of potato production. We encourage planting practices that encourage the quickest emergence from the soil, such as shallower planting and smaller hills. Planting seed free of soft rot and low levels of Rhizoctonia will minimize emergence problems. One of the best things to reduce disease incidence is getting sunshine and warmer temperatures so the potatoes can emerge from the soil.
NDSU/U of M Extension Potato Agronomist