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Published August 22, 2009, 07:57 AM

Potato blight found in Red River Valley

GRAND FORKS (AP) — Potato blight has been found in the Red River Valley. North Dakota State University plant entomologist Neil Gudmestad said the disease was first confirmed at a Northern Plains Potato Growers Association irrigation test site at Inkster, and later confirmed in several fields near Larimore.

GRAND FORKS (AP) — Potato blight has been found in the Red River Valley.

North Dakota State University plant entomologist Neil Gudmestad said the disease was first confirmed at a Northern Plains Potato Growers Association irrigation test site at Inkster, and later confirmed in several fields near Larimore.

Gudmestad said there are other unconfirmed reports of the disease in the Red River Valley. Researchers are trying to pinpoint the source.

A 1999 outbreak of blight in the Northern Plains destroyed $125 million worth of potatoes.

Gudmestad said blight could spread quickly this year if the weather conditions are right. He said farmers should destroy crops with the disease and step up fungicide programs.

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