Use of cereal border crops in management of aphid-transmitted viral diseases during seed potato (solanum tuberosum) production
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A field experiment was conducted over two cropping seasons to investigate the effectiveness of cereal border crops in managing potato aphids and the associated viruses during seed potato production. Potato plots were surrounded with maize, sorghum or wheat borders. Aphid population was monitored on leaves and on yellow sticky traps. Other data collected included viral disease incidence and tuber yield. The border crops reduced aphid population on leaves compared to non-bordered potato plots. More alate aphids were caught on yellow sticky traps placed inside potato plots than on traps placed inside the border crops. In addition, viral disease incidence was reduced in all plots surrounded by the border crops. However, plots surrounded by border crops had reduced tuber yield, although the yield of seed grade was increased. Thus use of border crops is beneficial in management of viral diseases during seed potato production.