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Wet fields may pose risk to Manitoba's potato crop

Potato planting has wrapped up in Manitoba.

Vikram Bisht is an Industry Development Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture.

"The potato crops are looking good, the ones that have already emerged," he said. "On the 18th, we had the last field planted, so the planting this time went from May 11 to June 18th. Normally by the first week of June, almost 100 per cent is planted. We are 10 days behind in some fields but most people got it in their normal time."

He added the wet conditions may pose a risk.

"Fields are quite wet. We have had frequent rains. This may, in my opinion, pose some risk for seed rot, especially in areas which have regularly been wetted or drowned out or there's standing water. Fields which are well drained, they have very good stand. The plants are about 12 inches to 14 inches in some places."

Bisht says growers are finished their hilling and have started weed control sprays as well.

Meahwhile, Colorado potato beetles are showing up in crop and in cull piles.

Late blight risk severity values are accumulating fast due to recent rains and there is moderate risk for disease development, if spores were present. The latest potato report says the spore traps at four locations tested negative for late blight spores.

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