Journal of the Department of Agriculture, Western Australia, Series 3


Western Australia, Plant disease, Early blight, Target spot, Potato disease

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Early blight or target spot caused by the fungus Alternaria solani is a widespread disease of potatoes which in Western Australia is most prevalent in crops dug in autumn and early summer. The disease may attack both foliage and tubers, but the tuber rot phase of the disease has hitherto caused most concern to local growers because it causes obvious losses in storage. The less obvious but more serious effects of the foliage blight have generally been overlooked, chiefly because the disease usually develops late in the season when the crops are approaching maturity. However recent spray trials with new fungicides have clearly demonstrated that the destructiveness of the foliage attack has been greatly underestimated, for it may cause considerable reduction in yield.

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