US growers have received a heads-up during a research session about a potentially damaging fungus that showed up in the Northern Plains this year. The disease, called “rubbery rot,” was seen in North Dakota and Minnesota this summer. Gary Secor, North Dakota State University Extension plant pathologist told farmers at Northern Plains Potato Growers' field day that it was already found in Wisconsin in 2019.
The fungal disease, caused by geotrichum candidum, results in tubers that are damp and feel rubbery when they are squeezed, similar to the way they do when potatoes are infected with pink rot. The potatoes with rubbery rot are inedible. Secor declined to say where the potatoes he diagnosed with rubbery rot originated from in North Dakota and Minnesota.
Whether rubbery rot is difficult to manage is not known, Secor said. He and other researchers will study the fungus’ epidemiology to determine how to combat it.