Blighted leaves 3 mr

Blighted potato leaves

Syngenta has warned potato growers that crops are at a high risk from early attacks of blight disease this season.

However, the UK-based chemicals giant added that it has the answer in allowing growers to take action against the disease efficiently. The Syngenta BlightCast system, which is now available online for free use, uses weather forecasting satellite data to give growers a five-day advance warning of local blight levels. The system subsequently recommends the appropriate fungicides, such as Revus, in order to prevent crop infection.

Syngenta potato specialist Rob Farrow said that blight levels are at a high level this year due to recent poor weather conditions. 'The cold soils and slow start to growth after planting this year means that most crops are now emerging at the same time and with simultaneous exposure to risk; that could further stretch growers’ capability to maintain appropriate blight control programmes through the season,” he warned.

“Now we have the technology and capability to forecast when conditions conducive to blight are likely to occur, and give growers the chance to take positive action to minimise the risk of infection.'