Assessment of Treatments to Control the Spread of PVY in Seed Potato Crops: Results Obtained in Belgium Through a Multi-Year Trial


The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of several treatments to control the spread of PVY (Potato virus Y) in seed potato crops. Field trials were conducted over a number of years in the Ardenne region of Belgium. Chemical treatments, including sprays of mineral oil, insecticide and a mix of them, were tested along with other treatments such as vegetal oil, plant slurries and Siliforce®. Agronomic treatments such as straw mulching and early vine killing were also evaluated. Trials using the same experimental design were conducted for 6 years but with different protection strategies each year. The key lessons emerging from this research are the following: (i) the use of mineral oil is an efficient way to protect seed potato crops against the spread of PVY, although the protection is incomplete; (ii) insecticides do not work (especially those of the pyrethroid group), although systemic insecticides provide added protection if mixed with mineral oil when activity of winged aphids is high; (iii) vegetal oil (rapeseed oil) protects the crop but at a lower level than mineral oil; (iv) slurries and Siliforce® do not provide control of PVY; (v) early killing of potato vines reduces PVY incidence in seed tuber lots; (vi) straw mulching increases the protection level in crops treated with mineral oil and may reduce the number of mineral oil sprays required.