Modern Fungicides Continue Control of Potato Disease

The disease of potatoes known as ‘early blight’ occurs earlier in the season than the well-known ‘late blight’ disease. Early blight is a significant problem in Wisconsin and Minnesota potato fields. Fungicides have been used for over 100 years to protect potatoes from early blight. Recent research in Wisconsin shows that modern fungicides continue to be most effective with newer chemistries expected to continue effective control into the future.

“Potato early blight is a perennial and potentially destructive disease caused by the fungus Alternaria solani. Appropriately-timed, effective fungicides are necessary to limit yield and quality loss. In 2010, we evaluated 38 fungicide programs for early blight control at the University of Wisconsin Hancock Agricultural Research Station on ‘Russet Burbank.’ Programs included an untreated control, conventional and organic grower standard programs, and newer chemistries.”

“The highest yielding program was the Wisconsin conventional grower standard. Organic treatments were ineffective. Several newer chemistries and modified standard programs were effective. At this time, and in the registration pipeline, there are excellent fungicides for the control of potato early blight that will contribute to good fungicide resistance management practices.”

Authors: Kenneth Cleveland, Jamie Dobbs, Rosemary Clark and Amanda Gevens
Affiliation: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dept. of Plant Pathology
Title: Evaluating the efficacy of fungicide programs for the control of potato early blight in the Central Sands of Wisconsin.
Publication: American Journal of Potato Research (2012) 89:32.

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