Zebra chip disease nearly destroyed a large USA potato growing business, its owner and chief executive told the Cambridge University Potato Growers Research Association conference earlier this month.
Foliar symptoms of the disease, which was first found in Mexico in 1994 and has spread north since, were identified in CSS Farms potatoes in July 2007, Milt Carter said.
"By mid-August in the first year, there were large patches that were completely dead. To try to reduce the problem in storage, we marked to dead spots and did not harvest them. But there were still too many tubers affected by zebra chip that went into storage."
At the time, little was understood about what caused the disease and how it was transmitted.