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Worst Potato Blight in a Decade Hits Finnish Crops

An exceptionally bad case of potato blight has spread across the country as far north as Oulu.

Commercial crops have been the worst affected, which means that most of the country’s harvest is at risk.

Researcher Asko Hannukkala from Agrifoor Research Finland says he can’t remember a case this bad in his 15-year career.

“Usually commercial farmers have been able to stop the spread of the blight with chemical sprays. But this year’s cool and rainy summer delayed the growth of potatoes and no measures were taken to cope with the rapid spread of blight,” he says.

Sprays can’t be used on crops when wet – even the use of tractors on soft muddy soil is restricted.

Organic farms have been the worst hit. Many owners are even hinting that their entire harvest could be lost.

The weather in the next few weeks will be crucial. If the weather dries out, sprays can be used to save part of the potato crop.