Treating seed potatoes before planting is recommended for two reasons: to kill the disease organisms on the surface of the tubers causing scab, rhizoctonia, blackleg, and silver scurf; and to prevent the decay of the seed pieces after they are planted. Seed treatment alone will not guarantee a scab-free crop if the soil is already infested with the organism that causes it. Treating cut seed with a suitable disinfectant will improve the stand of plants, particularly when emergence is slow due to weather conditions.
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South Dakota State College
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Richardson, L.T., "Potato Seed Treatment and Scab Control" (1950). Agricultural Experiment Station Plant Pathology Pamphlets (1942-1962). 9.