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RADA issues advisory to Irish Potato Farmers

This is the message from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) and the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA).

A Trough influencing the weather conditions across the entire island resulted in high level of rainfall.

Due to prolonged hours of wetness, conditions for rapid development and spread of fungal and bacterial diseases on Irish potato are highly favourable.

Irish potato farmers are being advised to be vigilant and take immediate steps in protecting crop from damage with Late Blight (also called by farmers as burn) and other diseases.

Disease can spread very rapidly and timing of spraying is critical:
  1. Where practical remove plants that are wilted due to diseases and dispose in a plastic bag
  1. Apply systemic fungicides to control Late Blight as soon as weather permits. 
No application of contact fungicides is recommended during this time.
Use only fungicides approved on Irish potato. Read label carefully and apply correct dose rate of product.
  1. Use of sticker is highly recommended to improve fungicide adherence
  2. Start fungicide application from the least to the highest affected areas of the field
  1. Ensure that good spray coverage is achieved  
  1. Farmers who are planning to harvest their crop, should spray field with Reglone one week after the last spraying, or approximately ten (10) days before harvesting.
This is to ensure that top of plants are killed before tubers harvested to reduce tuber rots. 
  1. Maintain good drainage and weed control.
  2. Limit movement of workers and applicators between fields to reduce spread of the disease
  3. Read and immediately respond to text messages sent from RADA for recommended fungicides to be used and dose rates.
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