Potato Tuber Moth Found In New Mexico

Published online: Jul 07, 2004
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New Mexico's potato industry appears to be the latest hit by the potato tuber moth.

The pest is affecting some 6,000-7,000 acres of potatoes in eastern New Mexico. It  has not appeared in the 6,000 acres in the northwest corner of the state grown by NAPI.

The problem emerged in Washington two seasons ago and is proving to be a menace there as well as in California. California growers manage the pest by cultural practices and insecticides, programs developed in the 1970s and 1980s.

California's cultural controls involve proper irrigation and soil management to prevent soil cracking to minimize moth access to tubers.

Chemical control is aimed at controlling adult moths. Timing of spray applications is enhanced by degree-day accumulation and pheromone traps.

California growers must use up to three and four insecticide applications per crop in some of the state's most infested areas.

Infestation is enhanced when larvae get in the foliage.