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TWIN FALLS -- Officials with the University of Idaho's Kimberly Research and Extension Center say a disease that could devastate the state's potato crop has been found in a Twin Falls County field.

Erik Wenninger, a professor with the extension center, told The Times-News that tests done on the field were positive for the bacterium that causes zebra chip. More tests are being done this week to confirm the results.

The potato disease causes flecking in potatoes' flesh, and when they are fried, the chip darkens. The defect can make the potatoes undesirable for fresh and process potatoes.

Wenninger and his colleague, Nora Olsen, wrote in a report published by the Oregon State University Extension Service that the disease has the potential to be economically devastating.

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