Colorado Beetles on Potatoes - Knowledgebase Question

Williamston, MI
Question by Hunter4407
March 24, 1998
We have heard that there has been progress in developing a potato hybrid that resists Colorado Beetle infestation. Does Burpee carry such a potato? If not, are you working on developing such a potato strain?


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Answer from NGA
March 24, 1998

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There is a lot of controversy about this research. For years gardeners and organic growers have used B.T., a biological control, for controlling Colorado potato beetle. It has proven to be very effective at controlling the beetle larvae. Researchers are trying to incorporate B.T. into potato plants. In theory, it sounds great, but in reality, there is a chance that if B.T. were common in potato plants, the beetles would soon develop resistant strains. That is why it is always best to use the minimum amount and frequency of any pesticide applications--to reduce the chance that the pest will develop resistance.

I'm not aware of Burpee pursuing this research themselves. I'll be curious to see how the controversy works out.

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