STAFF BLOG AG RIGHT A summer without late blight?
If you're a student of history, you've probably heard of late blight. The highly contagious fungus, which caused the disastrous Irish potato famine in the 1840s, can hurt both yields and quality in sp... Posted on 6/12/12 at 9:48 AM
CLAVERACK, N.Y. — As farmers and home gardeners set out their tomatoes this spring, plant experts offered suggestions for preventing another outbreak of late blight, which destroyed millions of dollars worth of tomatoes in the eastern U.S. last year.
Officials say the threat of widespread potato blight in the Red River Valley appears to be over, at least for this year.
The Northern Plains Potato Growers Association and North Dakota State University said no new cases have been reported the past few days, though farmers are cautioned to continue to watch for the disease.
John Morten, who learned to fly as a boy of 17, provides a textbook example of how to keep potatoes safe from blight.
It’s a big deal this year because, for the first time in a decade, late blight has been found in potato fields in the Red River Valley. The last time blight broke out in the valley, in 1999, it cost the potato industry in the region $125 million, said Neil Gudmestad, a potato plant pathologist at North Dakota State University, who has been watching it closely.
An AP Member Exchange Feature By Stephen J. Lee, Grand Forks Herald
September 04, 2009
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