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How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines

Small grains crop rotation


Crop Rotation

(Reviewed 1/08, updated 5/08)

In this Guideline:

Avoid planting potatoes in the same field year after year. Proper crop rotations enhance soil fertility, help maintain soil structure, reduce certain pest problems, increase soil organic matter, and conserve soil moisture. Herbicides not available for use in potatoes can be used in certain rotation crops to control problem weeds. Whenever possible, use rotations that reduce problem pests and avoid rotations that may increase them.

If your field is infested with pathogens or nematodes listed in the table below, consider choosing a listed nonhost crop. Although longer nonhost crop rotations are ideal, they often are not economically feasible. A rotation of lesser duration is still beneficial but to a lesser degree. In general, avoid solanaceous crops as rotation choices. Control volunteer potatoes and weeds in the rotation crop.

For winter annual weed control, choose a small grain crop and control these weeds with a suitable herbicide. Manage summer annual weeds by growing a small grain (Klamath Basin) or using corn as a rotation crop so that selective herbicides and cultivations can be used.

Pest problem Rotation cycle (years) Rotation crop options and other comments
Bacterial ring rot 1 + Nonpotato crop; control volunteer potatoes
Black dot 3 + Nonsolanaceous crop; control solanaceous weeds and volunteer potatoes
Common scab 1 + Cereals; green manure cover crops such as rye, millet, and oats
Late blight 1 + Nonsolanaceous crop; control solanaceous weeds and volunteer potatoes
Powdery scab 3 + Nonsolanaceous crop; control solanaceous weeds and volunteer potatoes
Silver scurf 1 + Nonsolanaceous crop; control solanaceous weeds and volunteer potatoes
Stem and stolon canker 2–3 Nonpotato crop but not sugarbeet; control potato volunteers
Stem rot 3 Small grains
Verticillium wilt 2–3 Cereals, grasses, legumes; control weeds
White mold 1 + Cereals, grasses; control weeds
Other Pests
Wireworms 3 + Alfalfa; control weeds
Columbia root knot nematode 1 + Alfalfa (for race 1), sugarbeet
Northern root knot nematode 1 + Small grains
Southern root knot nematode 1 + Nematode-resistant tomato cultivars
Weeds 1 + Control problem weeds


[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Potato
UC ANR Publication 3463
General Information
B. J. Aegerter, UC Cooperative Extension, San Joaquin Co.
H. Carlson, UC Cooperative Extension, Siskiyou Co.
R. M. Davis, Plant Pathology, UC Davis
L. D. Godfrey, Entomology, UC Davis
D. R. Haviland, UC Cooperative Extension, Kern Co.
J. Nuñez, UC Cooperative Extension, Kern Co.
A. Shrestha, UC IPM Program/Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier

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