Dickeya dianthicola has been reported in potato in Rhode Island this summer. This makes it the 11th state this summer to report the pathogen in potato. The pathogen has also been detected in NJ, MA, DE, PA, MD, VA, NC, WV, and FL this year. All potato growers, crop consultants, scouts, industry representatives, and Extension personnel in states which grow potatoes should remain vigilant by scouting their fields for Dickeya symptoms on a regular basis and by submitting any suspect samples for diagnostic testing. Additionally, in recent days and weeks there has been a lot of misinformation circulating (both written and in person) about the pathogen – Dickeya, its biology, potential sources of the inoculum, and much more. All potato growers when deciding on where and from whom to buy their seed from next year need to do their own due diligence, talk with other growers [(especially those who have had the unfortunate experience with Dickeya and have received infested lot(s)] and to speak with their local Extension Service to find out the facts to help them make the appropriate decisions to avoid problems. The best method for keeping Dickeya off of your potato farm and to avoid potential loses is to adopt your own zero-tolerance policy for the disease.
For more information on Dickeya please see the following articles posted online – source(s) of information:
Dickeya: A new potato disease – Growing Produce
Blackleg is Once Again Being Observed in Potato Fields Across the Mid-Atlantic Region – Penn State University
Update on Dickeya detections in potato – University of Delaware
Dickeya Blackleg: New potato disease causing major impact. – Cornell University
Watch for Dickeya – a new potato disease – The Ohio State University
High security Aroostook farm advances tater technology. – Maine Potato Board
Slowing Dickeya, other pathogens in Canada. – North Dakota State University
Dickeya is coming. – University of Wisconsin/North Dakota State University
Maine ‘Ground Zero’ for new potato disease. – Maine Department of Ag.
Maine seed potato growers looking to protect brand against disease. Maine Department of Ag./Maine