Agriculture: Potato Pest Management Guidelines

Preplant

This year-round IPM program covers the major pests of both commercial and seed potato production fields in California.

About Preplant

What should you be doing during this time?

Consider crop rotation for reducing pathogens, harmful nematodes, and problem weeds.

Manage weeds in the previous crop.

  • Survey for weeds and keep records (example weed survey form PDF).
  • Also survey adjacent areas and crops for problem weeds, host plants of green peach aphid, potato psyllid, and other insects or diseases, and volunteer potatoes.
  • Control volunteer potatoes.

Avoid herbicides that leave carry-over residues which may affect potatoes.

Take soil samples to assay for nematodes and soilborne fungal pathogens immediately after harvest of previous crop.

Manage residue from the previous crop.

Manage weeds between crops.

  • Irrigate to stimulate weed seed germination after previous crop, before field preparation.
  • Cultivate or apply preemergence herbicide as needed to control weeds.

Analyze soil for fertility, physical constraints, and pH, which can affect common scab. Fertilize according to soil analysis results. Providing adequate fertility can help with early blight control.

Watch for wireworms, especially if there is a history of damage. Manage if needed according to the Pest Management Guidelines.

Consider soil fumigation for nematodes and some soilborne pests.

Make sure to check fumigant label for details on the minimum time required between application and planting to prevent crop damage.
Monitor vole activity in adjacent fields and non-crop areas. Implement baiting programs or install exclusionary fencing if needed to keep voles from moving into potato fields.

Order seed potatoes of desired cultivar and certification level.

Follow proper handling procedures for seed tubers.

Text Updated: 08/19