New videos educate potato growers on disease management of soft rot bacteria

Aerial stem rot, blackleg and tuber soft rot were recently detected in Michigan potato fields. Like the past two growing seasons, these diseases continue to be a problem.

Graphic of tuber soft rot, aerial stem rot and blackleg symptoms

Potato production in Michigan is ranked seventh (~$200 million) in the U.S. Approximately 70 percent of the potatoes produced in Michigan goes towards chipping. Potato production systems are impacted annually by many recurrent and persistent seedborne and storage diseases. Dickeya and Pectobacterium are closely related bacteria species that cause seed piece decay, blackleg, aerial stem rot and wilt, and tuber soft rot.

A new video series was developed to educate potato growers, stakeholders and the general public about bacterial diseases of potato. The first video is an overview of diseases caused by soft rot bacteria, the second video is focused on disease management at planting, the third video is focused on management over the growing season and finally disease management at harvest and in storage. See the full list of videos by clicking on the links below:

These educational videos were developed in partnership with the Michigan Potato Industry Commission (MPIC), Michigan Seed Potato Association, Michigan State University AgBio Research, and MSU Extension. The video is part of a series to provide information on how to better manage diseases of potato caused by soft rot bacteria supported by the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, MSU Extension, MPIC, MSU Project GREEEN, MSU AgBioResearch and MSU Extension.

For more information on disease symptoms, disease cycle and post-harvest management strategies, refer to the MSU Extension bulletin E-3335, “Tuber Soft Rot, Blackleg and Aerial Stem Rot

Follow Noah Rosenzwieg on Twitter @PureMIPlantPath for information on potato disease management.

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