25 May 2021
Beware of verticillium wilt
SCIENTISTS at York-based FERA in the UK, have stressed the importance of understanding the risks posed by soil-borne fungal disease verticillium wilt and encouraged growers to book soil tests now.
Verticillium wilt affects a number of plant species and accounts for significant crop losses. In potatoes, an infection can lead to significant damage.
A fungal disease of the vascular tissue, verticillium wilt can lead to stunting, premature plant senescence and a reduced yield. On hot, sunny days, plants will wilt, leaflets will curl, become paler and desiccated. The stem vascular ring often discolours brown.
The disease affects most commercial cultivars.
"It thrives in temperate climates and it's distribution can be sporadic within fields. Before planting your crop, it is important to understand the risk of this soil borne fungal disease," FERA stresses.
AHDB gives advice on handling the disease here.
Photo courtesy of AHDB