Update - July 19, 2024

The latest psyllid monitoring information has been released, with the following to report:

  • Psyllid captures are going down to expected levels
  • Three Lso-positive psyllids have been found in Twin Falls County (two at Kimberly Research & Extension Center).
  • Captures in the past two weeks were from  Canyon, Owyhee, Jerome, Twin Falls,  Gooding, Bannock, Cassia, and Bingham.
Growers are encouraged to put IPM programs in place, with guidance available through the University of Idaho psyllid management website. Summaries of captures from 2020 to 2024 can be found at Idaho Pest Monitoring.

What is zebra chip disease and what do potato psyllids have to do with it?

Zebra chip is a disease that affects the potato plant, so named because it gives a "zebra stripe" effect on the flesh of potatoes, especially when fried. While it does not make the potato inedible, it can result in loss of flavor and cause cosmetic issues that make the potato less marketable.

It was first identified in the early 1990s and is believed to be spread solely through the potato psyllid, which acts as a disease vector, carrying the liberibacter (Lso). Research for the disease is still ongoing, but it is believed pest management of the potato psyllid is the best option for preventing crop damage and loss.

Original Report - July 8, 2024

The latest monitoring season for potato psyllid in Idaho has begun, with several captures in the first week of trapping.

The University of Idaho notified the Pacific Northwest Pest Alert Network that testing had begun across 58 fields in the state, and will last for at least ten weeks. The program focuses on commercial potato fields in southern Idaho and monitors for potato psyllids, zebra chip disease (ZC), and liberibacter (Lso).

In the first week of trapping, the monitoring team captured 53 psyllids across 19 fields as follows:

  • Payette - 1 psyllid captured
  • Owyhee - 1 psyllid captured
  • Jerome - 1 psyllid captured
  • Cassia - 1 psyllid captured
  • Minidoka - 1 psyllid captured
  • Bingham - 1 psyllid captured
  • Canyon (3 fields) - 3 psyllid captured
  • Twin Falls (10 fields) - 43 psyllids captured

Testing for Lso incidence is underway for these captures. U of I notes:

Psyllid captures this week were higher than at this time in the last two years. It is noteworthy that most of the captures came from the Magic Valley, and most of those from one field (though captures in Twin Falls County were widespread). We typically see higher captures in the Treasure Valley before the Magic Valley, so these observations are unusual.

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