An aggressive strain of potato blight is causing concern to farmers across Britain and Ireland.
Research carried out by Teagasc Oak Park Research Centre, the national centre for arable crop research in Ireland, has shown a new strain - an A2 type called Blue 13 - is becoming more prevelant and is changing compared to the A1 type farmers have faced for the past 100 years.
Michael Hennessy, writing in the Irish Independent, said the change in populations has some potentially serious consequences and this has led to there being less room for mistakes by growers in their spraying routines.
There are also concerns that the old and new types of blight will combine, producing a more genetically diverse population, which may be even more aggressive and damaging than the Blue 13 strain.
Recent damp, wet weather has provided ideal conditions for the blight to spread.
Michael said: "In a wet year, like this year, a small seed-borne infection can develop into quite a serious problem."