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Potato growers and agronomists will be better prepared to cope with more aggressive blight strains this season, with a new BlightCast warning tailored to focus on infections now typically occurring earlier in the season at cooler temperatures. The BlightCast five-day blight forecasting service, will now feature a 'New Criteria' forecast, alongside a traditional Smith Period forecast.
New BlightCast report
The 'New Criteria' pinpoints forecast temperature to hit over 8°C and more than 11 hours at 90% humidity over two consecutive days to trigger a Blight Period, or a Near Miss where conditions occur for a shorter period.
The existing recognised Smith Period five-day forecast remains the primary information on the BlightCast report, with the secondary 'New Criteria' forecast and a five-day spray application window forecast – all based on the grower's local postcode.