YORKSHIRE and Lancashire were among counties who were hit by outbreaks of late blight in potatoes

Mixed weather patterns across many regions of the UK and Ireland led to localised outbreaks of late blight in potatoes.

Main crop varieties were closing in on the burndown phase but much of the planted area had sometime left and growers needed to ensure they take clean crops into store.

The Blightwatch alert system, hosted by the AHDB and the MET Office, is displaying red warnings – indicating the highest level of blight threat ­– for key potato-growing regions.

Corteva Agriscience’s Field Technical Manager for potatoes, Craig Chisholm, says the crop protection and seed company had received a flurry of calls from growers and advisors on how to protect crops late in the season.

“The risk is that tuber blight could be carried into store, caused by temperatures falling and rain washing zoospores into the soil,” he said.

“Some growers have had the added complication of managing a stop-start cereal harvest at the same time as carrying out preventative blight sprays. Because of this, a product with some curative activity on blight will prove useful.”

Craig says Corteva’s blight fungicide co-formulation Zorvec Endavia – launched this year – can play an important role in providing late protection.

“Zorvec has very good activity on the leaf surface and within the plant so acts to prevent the production of zoospores that cause late blight,” he said.

“The Zorvec AgPack containing Zorvec Enicade + amisulbrom will add additional activity, as amisulbrom is generally used to prevent zoospores in the latter part of the programme.”