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Plant Pathology Journal
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 9  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 65 - 72

The Effects of Supplemental Irrigation and Soil Management on Potato Tuber Diseases

O.M. Olanya, G.A. Porter, D.H. Lambert, R.P. Lakin and G.C. Starr    

Abstract: The aim of this research was to evaluate the effects of irrigation and soil management on potato tuber diseases. Supplemental irrigation, soil amendment and crop rotation can improve potato growth and tuber yield under drought stress conditions, but may also increase potato tuber diseases. The effects of irrigation, soil amendment and crop rotation on the incidence of tuber diseases were quantified from 1994 to 1997 in potato plots. Surface sprinkler irrigation was applied each year, based on tensiometer or moisture block readings deployed in field plots. Black scurf (Rhizoctonia solani), black dot (Colletotricchum coccodes), silver scurf (Helminthosporium solani) and common scab (Streptomyces scabei) diseases were quantified on potato tubers randomly sampled at harvest and kept at storage temperature of 7.2°C before visual disease assessment. The incidence of tuber diseases varied among irrigation treatments, crop rotations and soil amendments. The mean incidence of black scurf, silver scurf and black dot ranged from 3-18, 2-33 and 4-7%, in best, un-irrigated and reduced irrigation, respectively. The incidence of back scurf, silver scurf and black dot diseases ranged from 2.4-10, 0.8-21 and 1-31% on potato tubers grown in plots under green manure rotation crop (peas/vetch). Disease incidences on tubers were 1-28, 0-35 and 2-16% for black scurf, silver scurf and black dot, respectively; when potato plants were grown under small-grain rotation. Soil amendments had significant (p<0.05) effects on the incidences of silver scurf disease in 1997 and black dot disease in 1996 and 1997. The interactions of soil amendment with irrigation resulted in significant effects on black scurf incidence in 1994. This research implied that water application may lead to increases in some potato tuber diseases, however; crop rotation and soil amendment may reduce the incidences of selective potato tuber diseases, depending on the type, duration or frequency of supplemental irrigation.

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