Potato Grower

May 2021

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Syngenta works with growers to protect potatoes year-round All the Livelong Year 26 POTATO GROWER | MAY 2021 When it comes to raising a healthy, profitable, high-quality potato crop, it takes a year-round approach to have any hope of making a successful run at it. Truthfully, one could say it takes several years' worth of analyzing history and planning future outcomes to deem any single season's efforts a triumph. That, of course, includes an awareness of disease and pest pressures a crop might face in a particular field — and even what may have plagued your seed potatoes before they make it to your farm. If a strong line of communication doesn't exist from a nuclear seed grower, to a later-generation seed grower, to a commercial grower, pests and pathogens have a greater likelihood of developing resistance to chemical treatments. "The fact that the potato industry plants seed tubers rather than a botanical seed makes it unique," says Kiran Shetty, technical development lead for potatoes with Syngenta Crop Protection. "There's a lot of continuity from what a seed grower does to what a commercial grower does after he gets the seed. Pathogens do take advantage of ineffective processes. Whether it's transmitted via the soil, foliar or on the tuber itself, there's been a history of resistance in almost every state in production." "The whole potato industry is extremely diverse, but so much of it is connected," says Glenn Letendre, a Syngenta agronomic service representative based in western Idaho. "The disease spectrum and pressures are different. The end use is different. Seed growers' programs will be much different from those who are growing processing or fresh-market potatoes. But they're dependent on one another." Like many other agrochemical companies, Syngenta collaborates closely with growers to provide the protection their crops need, not only from seed to storage, but from year to year. One of the biggest concerns facing the industry in recent years and into the foreseeable future is the threat of pests and pathogens developing resistance to products currently on the market. With one of the most diverse potato product portfolios in the industry, Syngenta is well- suited to supply combat just such a problem. But much of the effectiveness of those products would be for naught without open lines of communication — not only between the company and its customers, but all across the potato industry. "Growers need to realize resistance is here to stay," says Shetty. "Doing the same thing year after year raises a red flag, particularly when considering By Tyrell Marchant

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