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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Potato Fusarium Wilt

Fusarium oxysporum,, Fusarium avenaceum,, Fusarium solani
Pakistan

Recognize the problem

Affected plants wilt, resulting in drooping leaves and soft stems, while healthy plants next to them remain rigid. Affected plants grow more slowly, and their leaves are rolled and yellow. Below the soil, the plant becomes discoloured and the tubers develop a brown ring inside and become sunken at the stem end. The stems of diseased plants blacken from belowground to aboveground.

Background

The disease usually enters the plant through roots when temperatures are greater than 20°C, but can also enter through wounds in the tuber or stem of the plant. The problem will remain in the field if you continue to grow potatoes in the coming seasons. If plants show wilting at or before flowering, few tubers will form. The disease occurs when the potato plant is young. Disease will be less likely if the plant is strong and healthy, such as when the farmer is using fertiliser.

Management

  • Choose healthy tubers by sorting
  • Use a balanced fertiliser (NPK 100:50:50kg/acre)
  • In dry soil, it’s better to irrigate before planting to maintain proper moisture
  • Provide adequate moisture at other times, especially as the crop matures, to avoid dryness
  • Diseased vines and tubers should be destroyed by tilling
  • Practice crop rotation with cereals, grasses, and forages for 2-3 years

When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, and pre-harvest interval.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Pakistan

Authors: Yasar Saleem Khan
CABI CWA
tel: +92 51 8317071 email: y.khan@cabi.org
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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