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The Growing Potato Crop

Article taken from the “Freeman’s Journal”, Friday, June 12 1846.

In the course of yesterday a gentleman who resides northward of the city, at Raheny, sent to us some stalks of potatoes of the now-growing crop, in which the blight, as it appeared developed towards the harvest of last year, was painfully evident.  The stalk was full of sap, the leaves luxuriant, and the upper part, which were manifestly about to throw out a blossom, was particularly full and green.

About midway down all the stalks the marks of blight were apparent.  The disease appeared as it were to enter the stalk at a joint, whence it appeared to run downwards only toward the roots. The whole of the canal which transmits the nutriment to the tuber bore, from the point where the disease struck in a brownish hue, and in the centre the sap itself seemed to have become stagnant and corrupt.  The gentleman who transmitted us the stalks and who is an excellent agriculturist says – “If I send you a potato stalk attacked with the rot or blight from which last year’s crop suffered so much.  The potato from which this stalk grew was a pink eye and planted in February – the field in which it grew had not the disease last year.”

This is a matter that demands, imperatively, the gravest and the speediest attention, both at the hands of the government as well as private persons.  We shall be most happy to become the medium of placing before the public facts respecting this new development of the disease in the food of our countrymen, and perhaps, under Providence, the attention thus early drawn to the disease may be the means of mitigating its destructiveness, if not of wholly arresting its progress.

We perceive that a writer in the Morning Chronicle recommends taking off instantly the leaves attached as soon as the disease appears.  The advice, if followed, can, at all events, do no harm.

Article taken from the “Freeman’s Journal”, Friday, June 12 1846.