Changing the future of food and farming

Managing potato blight for small growers

Event Date : December 4, 2017

Innovative Farmers Field lab at Duchy Home Farm, nr Tetbury, Gloucestershire. 2pm to 5pm


Potato blight can be combated through conventional breeding and cultural methods

Potato late blight (Phytophthora infestans) is a real problem for most organic growers, in most seasons. The blight fungus is evolving and some varieties that used to show resistance have now lost it. It is likely that copper will not be available for use against blight in the near future. So, how can smaller growers adapt and ensure they can successfully produce potatoes for their markets? This meeting, hosted by Fred Bonestroo, at Duchy Home Farm will explore issues around potato blight (varietal selection, adapting soils to the fungus, cultural management options, mesh covers) and try to work together to come up with trials and potential solutions.

Programme

  • Introduction and welcome – Phil Sumption (ORC/OGA)
  • Report from previous Innovative Farmers field lab trials on blight resistant potato varieties – Ben Raskin (Soil Association)
  • The potato blight pathogen – Knowing your enemy. Dr David Shaw (Sarvari Research Trust)
  • Cultural options for control of late blight – Dominic Amos (ORC)
  • Novel approaches to control of late blight – including use of mesh covers and fungal adaptation of soils – Phil Sumption (ORC)
  • Discussion around growers experiences, future trials and the way forward.

This is an OGA/LWA Field lab. If you would like to attend, please contact Phil Sumption: phil.s@organicresearchcentre.com

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