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Helminthosporium Solani

Helminthosporium Solani, Silver Scurf, on tubers can devalue a stock destined for Grade A packing and reduce it to a peeling job or worse in a matter of weeks given the correct conditions. Silver scurf as the name suggests is mainly silver in colour and favours a more regular edge pattern as compared with black dot which has a more irregular edge pattern. Silver Scurf will develop on all varieties of potato and can be more severe on certain varieties. These varieties should not be in the plan for long term storage. Untreated tubers will eventually start to shrivel up as the disease takes control and they lose moisture. If this is a seed tuber, the eyes can be affected giving less stems and growth rate after planting.

If infection occurs on seed tubers, they can be treated with an approved fungicide to slow the development. Varieties that are more susceptible to Silver Scurf should be dried, cured and treated shortly after harvest before they go into store. If infection occurs on a ware crop, plans should be altered to move the stock sooner.

Silver Scurf likes warm and moist / wet conditions and can spread fast if these conditions are present and at any time. Early harvest followed by drying, curing and cooling will all help to control Silver Scurf. Stores should clean and preferably disinfected before loading and use store best practise to avoid hot spots and condensation on the tubers.

If you would like more information on this or any storage issue please get in touch.

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