Officials Warn Growers About Late Blight

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Vermont agriculture officials are warning growers and gardeners that late blight could threaten certain crops with all the recent rain and cool temperatures.

The plant disease spreads quickly in wet, cool weather, causing tomato and potato plants to wilt and die.

Plant Pathologist Tim Schmalz says the state saw the devastation the disease can do to a tomato crop in 2009, and has already received reports of early late blight detection in neighboring states.

Growers are reminded to look for irregular, bruised or ‘water-soaked’ appearing lesions on leaves; white fuzzy or moldy growth around the lesions; and rapid browning and dieback of the affected plants. To prevent it, remove and dispose of infected material immediately, apply fungicides, and try to cultivate late-blight-resistant plants.

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