Potato Virus Y
Potato Virus Y can be transmitted to potato plants as long as there is green plant material visible. Some of the “newer” strains of PVY have the potential to cause both internal and external discoloration on and in trubers. Therefore, it is important for seed growers and commercial growers with PVY sensitive varieties to protect potato plants until they are completely dead.
With the continued thundershower activity, lightning strikes may be found within some fields. Lightning strikes can easily be mistaken for disease. If one goes to the perimeter of the area in question and cuts a stalk lengthwise, the inside of the stalk will have a “lattice work” appearance if it was struck by lightning. The shape of the affected area may be oval, but not always. If you have questions, please bring samples to your local Cooperative Extension office for verification before making a treatment decision.
Soil-Borne Disease Potential
With some fields having been worked during the cold, wet period of this past spring, there is the possibility of increased soil chunks and clods in those fields. In fields with an increased number of chunks and clods, there comes the potential for increased bruising. With increased bruising and abrasions comes the potential for increased leak and fusarium incidence. We encourage all growers to take steps to minimize bruising. The Maine Potato Board will be conducting the annual Bruise Testing Program. For more information, please call (207) 769-5061.