Update 1 – April 28, 2022

Yi Wang, Assistant Professor & Extension Potato and Vegetable Production Specialist, UW-Madison, Dept. of Horticulture, 608-265-4781, Email: wang52@wisc.edu.

It has been unseasonably cold for most of April (average daily temperature was below 45°F and only reached above 50°F once, Figure 1). Therefore, those seed tubers planted early in the month did not acquire many growing degree days to encourage emergence. The good news is that it is expected to warm up next week, and hopefully, potato growers in Central Sands will get a chance to finish planting soon. Happy Planting 2022!

Figure 1. Max, average, and min daily temperatures measured at the Central Wisconsin Airport between April 1st and 29th.

The U.S. drought monitor map (https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/) indicates that as of April 26th, the western part of the country including potato-producing states like Idaho and Colorado were under severe to exceptional drought, due to lackluster snowpack this past winter. The excessive heat in 2021 resulted in below-average yield in Idaho, and it has been reported that “much of Idaho is poised to enter another summer with below-normal streamflow and concerns about adequate irrigation supply”. Situations in the Columbia Basin of Washington were better, where all of the snowpack sites are at normal or slightly above normal level. Although spring temperatures were projected to be below normal. Looking ahead, it will be another unpredictable growing season in 2022.


Vegetable Disease and Insect Forecasting Network (VDIFN)

VDIFN is a valuable tool for using weather data to predict the risk or onset of diseases and insect pests. We previously covered the use of the VDIFN website. Read more about it here: https://vegpath.plantpath.wisc.edu/2021/04/12/update-2-april-12-2021/, and visit the site here: https://agweather.cals.wisc.edu/vdifn. Functionality updates to the site are ongoing and feedback is encouraged at agweather@cals.wisc.edu.


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