Winning the war against PCN


12 February 2024
Two authorities on PCN detail how latest advancements are combating a pest that causes up to £31m in damage and lost output annually.

OVER the past three decades, there has been significant progress in our understanding of the biology and management of potato cyst nematode (PCN), yet it is still regarded as one of the main threats to potatoes.

Dr Matthew Back, reader in nematology at Harper Adams University and a renowned authority on PCN management, said the prevalence of the pest is concerning, especially in previously-untouched seed land in Scotland.

Agrii Agronomist and member of The Potato Partnership steering group, Nick Winmill, explained how The Potato Partnership has been investigating IPM control of PCN through resistant and tolerant varieties. 
The Potato Partnership is an industry collaboration initiated by Agrii and founded on the model provided by the former AHDB Potatoes SPot Farms. Other partners include plant breeders, growers, manufacturers, and a wide range of agronomists.

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“Within the Potato Partnership, there is a recognition that we urgently need practical solutions to the pest and disease challenges facing the sector. For PCN, our trials have sought to evaluate the resistance and tolerance of a range of potato varieties grown under commercial conditions in the presence of G. pallida,” said Nick. 

Read our full feature, with more insights from Matthew and Nick, in the March issue of Potato Review. You can subscribe here.