Potato Extension


Andy Robinson

Potato Extension Agronomist


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NDSU Potato Blightline to Operate in 2015

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 2015. You can access the Blightline information by phone, email, texts, or the NDSU/U of M Potato Extension and the Potato Pathology website.

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 2015. Even though late blight was not present in 2013 and 2014 in our area, there is always a chance that late blight will be present in this year 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 21st 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 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 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 1st, 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, email, website, or text.

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 www.ndsu.edu/potato_pathology

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

If you would like to be on the email listserv or receive text messages to receive the Blightline updates please email Andy Robinson (contact info on the right of this page).

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 slightly inflated zip-lock plastic bag without a wet towel and sent to:

 Gary Secor, NDSU Dept 7660, 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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