Devastating New Potato Disease Has Growers Spraying at First Sign of Vector

Potato psyllids in the Pacific Northwest are spreading a new disease, Zebra chip. Beginning in 2011, psyllid feeding has spread a virus that reduces potato yields and renders tubers unmarketable with bands that darken when fried. Immediate spraying to control the insect vector is required.

“Researchers say populations of potato psyllids – vectors of zebra chip, a crop disease new to the region – are growing dramatically in the Columbia Basin.”

“Despite the increasing psyllid pressure during the past couple of weeks, Phil Hamm, an Oregon State University plant pathologist, believes the disease shouldn’t cause major problems for growers who stick with insecticide programs. … ‘When the region has psyllids, you treat,’ Hamm said.”

Author: John O’Connell
Headline: Psyllid populations growing dramatically
Publication: Capital Press. August 31, 2012.

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