With concern escalating about zebra chip, an entomologist is worried that potato growers are overlooking another pest that can cause severe crop loss.
Oregon State University Extension entomologist Silvia Rondon is advising growers to keep an eye out for tuberworm.
"Everybody is paying attention to the psyllids," Rondon said, "and they could have a big surprise. [But] I'm seeing the highest numbers of potato tuberworms than I've seen in years," she said.
The tuberworm, which caused millions of dollars of crop loss in the mid-2000s, has flown under the radar in recent years, Rondon said.
She is concerned that growers aren't watching tuberworm moth counts as closely as they should.
"Pay attention to your numbers," Rondon said. "We don't want to happen what happened in 2004 and 2005."
SOURCE: Mitch Lies, Capital Press