District spuds avoid potato blight

Megan and Bill Parker of Yeo started planting this season’s potatoes in November and expect to start digging them in March.

COLAC district potato farmer Bill Parker says the district’s spuds have managed to stay blight-free this season.

Potato blight is a disease which caused the Irish famine in the 1800s, and it thrives in warm and humid weather.

The disease has affected farms elsewhere in Victoria but Mr Parker said his crop was looking healthy.

“Everything’s going well. Most of the area’s spud growers I’d heard of said they’re not having any trouble,” the Yeo farmer said.

“You keep an eye out for it, it’s just on the leaf itself then it sort of spreads.”

Mr Parker said he wasn’t worried about the prospect of battling blight.

“Everyone normally gets it but there are chemicals you can spray,” he said.

“It is the conditions that bring it on, but you can treat it to keep on top of it.

“So it’s an added expense which you’d rather not have.”

Mr Parker started planting his spuds in early November and he expects to start digging them up in March.

“We had a nice drop of rain the other night, prob-

ably ended up with 20 millimetres, which is good,” he said.

“We don’t want those storms like we had last year but it’s no hassles at the moment.”

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