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Potatoes

Potatoes Potatoes are grown all across NYS, though the largest farms tend to be located in Western NY, the Finger Lakes Region and on Long Island, on deep, fertile, light- to medium-textured mineral soils, and on muck (organic) soils. Potatoes are grown on small, medium and large farms, for retail, wholesale (east of the Mississippi) and organic markets, for both fresh market and processing into chips, and for certified seed potatoes. Most growers store some of their crop for winter sales. Varieties include round whites, red-skinned potatoes, yellows, and a smaller acreage of a wide variety of specialty types, such as those with blue or red skin and flesh, fingerlings, etc. Potatoes are one of the highest value vegetables in NY, grown on 16,000 acres, with an average value of about $54.9 million recently (2014 Vegetable Summary).

Potatoes have many serious insect and disease pests. Late blight can be a devastating disease, capable of completely destroying an unprotected crop within 3 weeks in wet weather, and rotting the tubers. Late blight was the major cause of the Irish Potato Famine. It also affects tomatoes. New, more virulent strains of late blight fungus began showing up 20 years ago and the disease has been harder to predict and control ever since. Early blight is a common fungal disease on both potatoes and tomatoes which survives over-winter in the soil. Colorado potato beetles can cause serious defoliation if crops are not rotated up to a quarter mile from where they, tomatoes or eggplant were previously planted. They can rapidly become resistant to commonly used insecticides. Tiny, sucking leafhoppers move up from the south each June on weather systems, and can cause severe leaf burn and yield reduction. Aphids can also be a production problem as well as carrying viral diseases that can affect potatoes grown from saved seed. 

Relevant Event

2018 Empire State Producers EXPO

Event Offers DEC Credits

January 16 - January 18, 2018
1.25 hr sessions throughout each day
Syracuse, NY

Complete Potatoes Content

2017 NYS Certified Seed Potato Crop Directory

Last Modified: October 31, 2017
2017 NYS Certified Seed Potato Crop Directory

The 2017 NYS Certified Seed Potato Crop Directory is now available. There is a wealth of information on NYS potato seed certification, as well as on the varieties grown for certification in 2017. 

Organic Production Guides

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: July 17, 2017
Organic Production Guides

Organic Production Guides for fruits, vegetables and dairy are available through the NYS Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. They outline general practices for growing vegetable and fruit crops using organic integrated pest management techniques.

Video: Flea Beetles

Last Modified: June 5, 2017
Video: Flea Beetles

Flea beetles are a common vegetable pest affecting peppers, cucurbits, sweet potato, potato, peas, beans, beets, tomato, corn, turnip, pumpkin, melon, eggplant, and others. This short video gives you some general information about this pest.

Best Management Practices for Dickeya in Potato Production in the Northeast

Last Modified: November 2, 2016
Best Management Practices for Dickeya in Potato Production in the Northeast

Potato seed tubers harboring Dickeya dianthicola are the only confirmed source of this pathogen. It does not appear to be able to survive in soil (including in crop debris) from one growing season to the next. Consequently, rotating with a non-susceptible crop is not a necessary component of the management program. Best management practices listed in the PDF are encouraged to minimize potential losses from Dickeya.

North American Certified Seed Potato Health Certificate (NACSPHC)

Carol MacNeil, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: August 31, 2016
North American Certified Seed Potato Health Certificate (NACSPHC)

The emergence of Potato Virus Yntn, which causes tuber necrotic ringspot disease (TNRD) in susceptible varieties, and the emergence of blackleg Dickeya, both serious seed-borne diseases, are very important reasons why you need to get a copy of the North American Certified Seed Potato Health Certificate (NACSPHC) for each lot of potato seed you buy.  

Bacterial Blackleg - An Increasing Problem for Potato Growers

Carol MacNeil, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: March 24, 2016
Bacterial Blackleg - An Increasing Problem for Potato Growers

Bacterial blackleg (BB), caused by Pectobacterium or Dickeya sp. (formerly called Erwinia) is not a new potato disease. It has caused occasional problems of seed decay, sprout decay, mid-season vine wilt and death, and tuber rot, for many years. A distinguishing characteristic of the disease is the inky-black color of the softening sprout or vine beginning below the soil line and spreading upward. No treatment can control the development of the disease in an infected potato plant, and there are no resistant varieties. The only control for this disease is planting blackleg-free, certified seed in a field that did not have the disease last year. 

Pesticide Options for Pests of Potato in New York, 2016

Last Modified: March 24, 2016
Pesticide Options for Pests of Potato in New York, 2016

To assist you in determining what product or products might best manage the complex of pests in your potato fields, a list of over three dozen products labeled on potato in New York have been summarized in the accompanying chart.

Canadian and European Varieties for the Fresh Market

Last Modified: February 29, 2016
Canadian and European Varieties for the Fresh Market

From Eugenia Banks, Potato Specialist, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture & Food (Retired), and Ontario Potato Board, Ontario, Canada, presented at the 2016 Empire State Producers Expo Potato Session

Potato breeders are always busy trying to develop fresh market varieties with traits that enhance farm sustainability: resistance to diseases, and attractive, tasty tubers preferred by consumers. Every year, potato-breeding programs evaluate advanced clones at several locations to determine how well the new clones perform under different weather patterns and soil conditions. There are key traits that a new fresh market variety should have attractive appearance, early maturity, good yield, consistency and predictability, and disease resistance.

Priaxor: New Fungicide for Upstate NY Growers

Last Modified: September 16, 2015
Priaxor: New Fungicide for Upstate NY Growers

Written by Margaret T. McGrath, Cornell:
Priaxor is labeled for disease control and plant health in the following crops: barley, corn (all types), dried shelled peas and beans, edible-podded legume vegetables, fruiting vegetables (including tomato), oats, oilseed crops (flax seed, rapeseed, safflower, and sunflower), peanut, rye, sorghum and millet, soybean, succulent shelled peas and beans, sugar beet, sugarcane, tuberous and corm vegetable (potato), wheat and triticale. Priaxor is classified for restricted use in NY. Use is prohibited in Suffolk and Nassau counties on Long Island. REI is 12 hours. PHI is 0 days for tomato. It is as long as 21 days for some other crops.

Video: New York State Produce Auctions

Last Modified: April 30, 2015
Video: New York State Produce Auctions

Currently, there are 6 produce auctions in New York State. These auctions are aggregation points that allow local farmers to sell their produce in wholesale lots to buyers from across the region. To document the economic impact of produce auctions on agriculture, local businesses, family farms, and produce buyers, the Cornell Vegetable Program worked with HarvestNY to survey top sellers and buyers.

A new Cornell Vegetable Program video shares general information about produce auctions, how buyers and sellers use the auctions to expand their businesses, and how local communities benefit from them.

2014 Upstate New York Potato Variety Trial Report

Last Modified: January 29, 2015

from D. E. Halseth, E. R. Sandsted, and J. M. Kelly, Horticulture, Cornell:
Potato variety yield trials were conducted in four counties in upstate New York in 2014 in which a total of 30 named varieties and 206 breeding lines were evaluated. 

Control of Colorado Potato Beetle & Insecticide Resistance Management

Carol MacNeil, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: June 9, 2014
Control of Colorado Potato Beetle & Insecticide Resistance Management

The CPB is known for its ability to quickly develop resistance to insecticides. There are alternatives to insecticides for managing CPB, but for growers with large fields and a limited ability to rotate fields, insecticides remain key.

2014 Potato Disease Management Strategies for Conventional & Organic Production

Carol MacNeil, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 22, 2014
2014 Potato Disease Management Strategies for Conventional & Organic Production

This PDF from the VegMD site provides photos of common potato diseases and descriptions of risk factors. Scroll down for a table of conventional fungicides and ratings of their effectiveness against common diseases. Scroll down further for a complete list of OMRI approved organic potato fungicides for soil application, seed treatment, at planting application and foliar application, rated for effectiveness against selected diseases. Note: in both tables "Tuberborne" refers to preventing infection of tubers. Always check with your organic certifier before using any material. The last table lists many potato varieties and their susceptibility against many diseases, as well as other attributes.

2014 Potato Fungicide Roster and Ratings with Emphasis on Late Blight Control

Carol MacNeil, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: April 22, 2014
2014 Potato Fungicide Roster and Ratings with Emphasis on Late Blight Control

The 2014 roster and ranking chart of potato fungicides with specific emphasis on control of late blight. Note that in 2014, Presidio use on potato is NOT allowed. This is a loss for potato growers since Presidio performed so well for the tuber blight phase of late blight. Notes for foliar blight and tuber blight protection are included as well.

Diagnosis and Management of Potato Tuber Diseases

Carol MacNeil, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: December 19, 2013
Diagnosis and Management of Potato Tuber Diseases

A seven page color fact sheet on the Diagnosis and Management of Potato Storage Diseases is now available online from the University of Idaho. The diseases covered are those which NYS potato growers often find themselves dealing with: pink rot, Pythium leak, late blight, Fusarium dry rot, bacterial soft rot, silver scurf, black dot, and early blight. In addition to assisting with the proper identification of the diseases, there is information on sanitation of equipment and the storage, and recommendations on how to hold lots with some disease if you can't sell them immediately. 

Determining Late Blight Sensitivity to Ridomil Takes Time

Carol MacNeil, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: September 19, 2013
Determining Late Blight Sensitivity to Ridomil Takes Time

The % LB diseased foliage in a field significantly affects how well any fungicide works against it. On September 16, 2013, Bill Fry, Cornell said, "Years ago we did experiments on the effect of timing of Ridomil on the suppression of LB [on a sensitive LB strain]. The treatments included metalaxyl/Ridomil, mancozeb, or no fungicide. We initiated applications at ~0.5% disease or at 2-5% diseased [foliage]. The effects of Ridomil were apparent within a day or two, but the effects of mancozeb were not visible for at least one week. LB increased explosively in the mancozeb and untreated plots for the first week. Subsequently, mancozeb did slightly suppress disease relative to the water control. The effect of Ridomil was dramatically different with an immediate observable effect in [reducing disease development]. Nonetheless, the amount of disease in the Ridomil plots continued to increase gradually for the next four weeks. When we initiated Ridomil applications at 0.5% disease the final level of disease was less, and the rate at which disease increased was less, than when we began at 2-5% diseased foliage. There was inoculum from other plots that probably contributed to increased LB. Thus, once disease is established, it's really difficult to totally stop this pathogen. I suspect that given the wet weather and favorable conditions we've had recently, any fungicide may have been challenged."

Application Equipment for Potato Post-Harvest Disease Control

Carol MacNeil, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: September 13, 2013
Application Equipment for Potato Post-Harvest Disease Control

Late blight, caused by Phytophthora infestans (Mont.) de Bary, and pink rot, caused by Phytophthora erythroseptica Pethybr., are two devastating potato tuber diseases. These pathogens regularly cause storage losses in potato production systems. While these pathogens, especially P. infestans, spread rapidly in the field, there can also be substantial tuber-to-tuber spread during mechanical harvesting and tuber transfer procedures. With these diseases present in the field, storage losses well beyond what would be expected can occur based on the pathogen level in the field. Learn more about how to control diseases following potato harvest in this University of Maine Extension publication.

Late Blight Sample Collection and Submission to Bill Fry, Cornell

Carol MacNeil, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: July 16, 2013
Late Blight Sample Collection and Submission to Bill Fry, Cornell

If late blight is detected or suspected on your farm, and you cannot get a sample to a Cornell Vegetable Program staff member in a day or two, you should submit your sample to Bill Fry's lab at Cornell. Instructions for reporting and sampling are provided.

O-zone Injury on Vegetables

Crystal Stewart, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: August 22, 2012
O-zone Injury on Vegetables

Hot, humid weather with stagnant air masses may lead to ozone damage on crops. Ozone warnings were recently issued for much of New York. These warnings are intended for people with respiratory problems and let them know they should limit their outdoor activity and try to stay as much as possible in air-conditioned locations. These warning are also a good indicator that ozone damage may occur in plants.

Armyworms are Poised to Eat Your Vegetable Crops

Julie Kikkert, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: June 6, 2012
Armyworms are Poised to Eat Your Vegetable Crops

They're back! Remember 2008 when armyworms marched from wheat into vegetable fields, eating everything in their path? Well, reports in western, NY are that populations of true armyworms in wheat are the highest they've been in years. True armyworms have also recently been reported in grass hay in Washington and Schenectady Cos., and in numerous crops, including sweet corn, Swiss Chard, and lettuce in Ulster/Orange Cos.

According to the NYS IPM Weekly Field Crops Report, the most common infestation sites for true armyworm larvae include dense fields of grasses, including wheat and other cereals, grassy forages, fields with rye cover crops and corn. Good grass control within and along field margins helps reduce the risk of infestations.

Nightshade Management Reduces Crop Loss

Julie Kikkert, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: March 20, 2012
Nightshade Management Reduces Crop Loss

Depending on the crop, nightshade can reduce crop yields, harbor diseases, and cause crops to be rejected by processors. Learn about the species of nightshades in NY, physiological differences between them, emergence and growth information, and control strategies.

Buckwheat Strips to Attract Beneficial Insects in Potato Production

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: January 12, 2012
Buckwheat Strips to Attract Beneficial Insects in Potato Production

Download a report of field plot strategies for using buckwheat strips to attract beneficial insects for the control of Colorado potato beetle in potato production (2009/2010). This project was funded by the Organic Farming Research Federation.

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Upcoming Events

NY Veterans in Agriculture Summit

November 29, 2017
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Syracuse, NY

Come gather for a day of education and networking. Learn about resources that are available to farmer veterans in New York and participate in educational sessions on topics including animal health, financial management, high tunnels, and business planning. 
view details

Second Annual Cut Flower Conference

December 1, 2017
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Rensselaerville, NY

Cornell Cooperative Extension's Capital Area Agriculture and Horticulture Program, announces their upcoming Second Annual Cut Flower Conference. The initial Cut Flower Conference, held in 2016, was very popular with established and beginning cut flower growers and growers considering adding cut flowers to their diversified farms.
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2017 Processing Vegetable Crops Advisory Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

December 13, 2017
9:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Batavia, NY

All processing vegetable growers and industry members are invited to attend. Discuss the 2017 growing season and management concerns. Reports and discussion of the 2017 Projects funded by the New York Vegetable Research Council/Association. Review priorities and the role of the advisory group in applications for state and federal grants. Give your input on the format of future advisory meetings and future educational programs. 
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Announcements

Available: 2017 Certified Seed Potato Directory

The 2017 NYS Certified Seed Potato Crop Directory is now available. There is a wealth of information on NYS potato seed certification, as well as on the varieties grown for certification in 2017. The varieties include standards for processing and tablestock, newer varieties and numbered lines, and specialty/heirloom varieties. Brief summaries of the varieties' maturity, appearance, yield potential, and major disease susceptibility are included. Contact info for the growers with seed supplies of each variety is included. There is also a listing of the inspectors from the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets in Albany and Syracuse.

Growing for Wholesale Guidelines Available

Grading and packing guidelines are now available for 16 commonly grown specialty crops in NYS: broccoli crowns, Brussels sprouts, corn, green peppers, cucumbers, green cabbage, red cabbage, savory cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, green beans, jalapenos, poblanos, Hungarian hot peppers, summer squash, and zucchini.

Acceptable quality standards and common defects that should be sorted out on the grading line are depicted in these resources, both visually and in outline form. Find all of the grading sheets here.

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