Late Blight Moving North

Confirmed cases of late blight have been reported as of June 28 in the northeastern states of Delaware, New York and Virginia, the Manitoba government’s weekly potato news said July 5.

No late blight found or reported in Manitoba. The sentinel plots, with potato and tomato plants, also are being regularly inspected, said Vikram Bisht, a plant pathologist with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives.

He said dry weather with good winds has helped reduce the late blight threat.

Most of the province has had very low accumulation of DSVs (disease severity values), indicating conditions for low risk of late blight disease, partly also because late blight has not been reported anywhere in the province.

As the plants close within rows, Bisht recommended farmers apply some contact protectant. This will provide protection to foliage which will be difficult to cover with fungicide after complete row closure.

Late blight updates and weather data can be found at: www.mbpotatoes.com.

Back in business

The U.S. Department of Agriculture attaché in Russia reports that Russia’s grain production this year is expected to rebound from last year’s drought-affected crops, and assuming normal weather, Russia’s grain (including legumes) crop will reach 85.5 million tonnes. The government of Russia has announced that grain exports will be able to restart on July 1, 2011, although some uncertainty remains on future export policies. The office forecasts total grain exports in 2011 at 12.5 million tonnes, nearly triple last year’s level.

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