Blight Infestation Growing In Idaho

Published online: Sep 04, 2003
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Blight confirmations are now up to five fields in Bingham County as the dreaded disease has hit the eastern Idaho potato crop.

Dr. Phil Nolte, University of Idaho seed potato specialist, said as of 1 p.m. today confirmations had been made on four additional fields.

Growers have been advised to apply fungicides or to immediately kill their vines to prepare for harvest.

As of September 2, 3 percent of the state's crop had been harvested, compared to 6 percent in 2002. In western Idaho 27 percent of the crop has been harvested as compared to 34 percent last year and an average of 17 percent.

Potato vines dead or being killed total 48 percent statewide, compared to 31 percent in 2002 and 25 percent as an average.

The good news is that 77 percent of the state's crop is reported to be good to excellent.

Irrigation water supplies continue to dwindle, with 75 percent fair to very poor and 25 percent good to excellent. Several growing areas got small amounts of rain last week, most under one-half-inch. The exceptions were Grace and Twin Falls which both got over an inch. The Twin Falls area got 1.88 inches.