Welcome to the Crop Alerts website. This website is part of the University of Idaho’s Idaho Crop Alerts Network and was established with funding support from the Idaho Specialty Crops Block Grant Program and the Idaho Potato Commission. Funding for the Idaho Crop Alerts Network has also been provided by other Idaho grower commodity groups, such as the Idaho Wheat and Barley Commissions.
Researchers at the University of Idaho have developed an early warning system to alert growers to the risk of potato diseases based on state-of-the-art spore detection technology and weather data. The network was established in 2018 with the purchase of 15 Burkhard multi-vial cyclone samplers that are situated in the main potato growing areas in southern Idaho and operate from May to September. Currently in Idaho, foliar pathogens are managed on a calendar based schedule often with no knowledge of the local optimum conditions for disease development or if spores are present in the area at the required threshold for disease development. Recent developments in spore sampling technology and molecular diagnostics mean that airborne spores of these pathogens can be detected prior to disease development. Our spore sampling network, coupled with disease-weather models, will provide a powerful tool to warn Idaho growers of disease risk, thereby allowing early treatments or conversely alleviate the need for unnecessary treatments in the absence of disease pressure.
The objective of this website is to provide growers with reliable up-to-date information on foliar disease risk using a combination of spore detection and weather data. Reliable up-to-date information will also be provided on the identity, biology and disease cycles, and current control methods for diseases of potatoes and other agricultural crops in Idaho.
This website has been setup by the University of Idaho Potato Pathology program and is part of the University of Idaho’s continuing commitment to helping growers improve the way they manage their businesses, with an emphasis on integrated crop management, education and safety.