Pennsylvania Potato Update – June 14, 2019

Potato Leaf hoppers have been spotted in PA according to yesterday’s Field Crop Newsletter from Penn State Extension.  This insect pest has the potential to significantly reduce potato yields in PA.  Potato growers should be checking their fields now and applying an insecticide if necessary.   If you have an alfalfa field next to your potatoes pay attention to when alfalfa is harvested as PLH often migrate from alfalfa to potatoes. 

Potato leaf hopper adult (with wings) and nymph. (Photo by Art Hower, Penn State)

Pest Control recommendations can be found in the links below:

The entire Mid Atlantic Commercial Vegetable Guide (all 428 pages) can be downloaded or ordered from:


Click on the link below to download only the Pennsylvania Commercial Potato Pest Recommendations:

Colorado Potato Beetle CPB populations are starting to increase in southern PA.  Overwintering adults have laid eggs which are hatching now! Check your fields and if CPB exceed thresholds apply an insecticide when most larvae are small.

Blackleg is being found in some PA potato fields.  In most cases only very few potato plants are showing symptoms.  Both PDA and PSU plant pathologists are looking for blackleg samples to continue identifying the pathogens that cause this problem.  If you notice excessive blackleg appearing in your potato fields, let me know so we can collect samples.

Late Blight  According to USABlight there has not been any LB reported anywhere in the US except Florida.

Potato Variety Trials  PA Cooperative Potato Growers and Penn State potato variety trials have been planted.  Here is a list of potato variety trials and locations:

Russet Screening Trials:  Troyer Land Resources at Cambridge Springs, Plant Path Farm at Rock Springs, and Sterman Masser Potatoes in Schuylkill County

Variety Demonstration Trials:  Mark Troyer Farm in Waterford, the Ag Progress Days site, and at Forrest Wessner farm in Lehigh County

PotatoesUSA chip trial:  Bender Potatoes in Franklin County.

Thanks to all the cooperating farmers who provided field sites for planting these trials.  The Penn State Potato Program runs additional trials at the Plant Path Farm, including fungicide trials for early and late blight, germplasm variety testing and scab trials. 

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