Late Blight

You can say tomato or tomahto, potato or potahto, but can you say Phytophora infestans?  More commonly known as Late Blight, this highly contagious disease of potato and tomato has been making news since back in 1844 when it kicked off the Irish Potato Famine.

2009 was an especially busy year for late blight in the United States, though Texas didn’t make the Late Blight Late Show.  We don’t know what 2010 will bring, but Late Blight has already been detected in four parishes (we would call them counties) in Louisiana.  All the confirmed cases were in home vegetable gardens, and there is always concern about bringing this pathogen into a new area on vegetable transplants. You can read more about the Louisiana Late Blight in this article from Garden Center magazine.

If you are a vegetable farmer, eXtension has a late blight management webinar for you.  On Thursday, July 1 at 7PM Central, Dr. Sally Miller of the Ohio State University and Dr. Meg McGrath of Cornell University will give you an update on what is happening with late blight in 2010, teach you about it’s disease cycle (pathologists just love cycles), tell you how to scout for and diagnose the disease and even how to manage it organically.

To register, click here , or paste this into your browser: http://www.extension.org/article/28346

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