Chip, the Nufarm zebra was roaming the rows at the 2016 Potato Expo last week with a goal of educating attendees about new research into fighting zebra chip.
Zebra chip is a potato disease vectored by a psyllid, according to Bob Bruss with Nufarm technical services. “This is a problem that’s been slowly growing and has become more of a concern,” said Bruss. The disease was named after the zebra because it causes characteristic dark brown radiating striped patterns that are amplified upon frying for potato chips, rendering them unusable.
Texas A&M University (TAMU) has been doing extensive research into zebra chip disease that Bruss says holds some new promise. “They found that a program of Mycoshield® could give very good control of zebra chip disease,” said Bruss. “Right now the only thing we have to manage zebra chip are the use of insecticide to control the psyllid.”
Nufarm’s Mycoshield® is currently only registered on pears, peaches and nectarines but Bruss says they are optimistic that this research could hold promise. “We’re meeting and talking with people here about how Mycoshield along with insecticides could be a benefit in the northern potato growing areas,” he said.
Listen to Chuck’s interview with Bruss here: Interview with Bob Bruss, Nufarm