Temperatures may have retreated from the triple digits we saw earlier this week, but the weather is still hot for much of the region. And with those hot temperatures, it’s critical that potato growers manage their water wisely.
“So we really urge growers, when it’s hot like this to, watch their water management,” said Washington State University’s Tim Waters. “If they have soil monitoring devices, be watching those devices, or if they don’t be out digging in the fields and looking at the soil moisture content. And that’s really the best way to determine how we’re going to water the crop, how fast you’re going to run those pivots, when you’re going to shut them off, and what not.”
Waters said over watering a field is not the answer, because additional water can encourage fungus and bacteria to grow.
He added the dog days of summer can also lead to additional pests in potato fields. Waters said aphids really aren’t an issue in the hot weather, but growers need to keep an eye out for Potato Psylids, Colorado potato beetle and potato tuber worm moths. He adds the Colorado potato beetle has been a real “pain in the neck” this season, not just because of the heat, but also
“Also the number of voluntary potato we had in other crops. So, you grow a pea crop or a wheat crop and it doesn’t really get any insecticide what so ever for the most part. And those potato beetles are able to mate and reproduce in those fields, and then when those fields are harvested or desiccated then they move in to the commercial potatoes that have been treated, but the treatment are wearing off.”
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