Tomato Crops Affected by Late Blight
August 16, 2013
ELMIRA -- (WENY) August is prime tomato time. But have the recent downpours affected the selection? Late blight, which targets and can destroy tomato plants, was first reported in Tompkins County in late July. It has also affected some other counties.
Dark brown stems, white fungi, these are just some of effects of late blight on a your tomato plants. It's a common yet serious plant disease that mainly attacks tomato and potato crops. But how has it been in our area this summer?
Farmers over at East Side Market in Elmira are selling plenty of summer favorites. Berries, corn and ripe and ready tomatoes. But some farmers did see some late blight.
"The plants were really healthy early in the year but they did get some blight around mid July," said Sky Moss, farmer at Pagany Farm in Golden Glow by West Elmira.
He says they caught it just in time. "We were fortunate that our plants were really healthy and large by that time so our yield wasn't really affected by much."
Other farmers haven't seen any late blight at all.
"We've had very little problem with insects or diseases this year. The quaility is good and the size of the tomatoes are running big," said John Mann, owner of Mann's Country Gardens in Gillet, PA.
Jabe Warren is the Horniculture Educator over at Cornell Co-Operative Extension Chemung County. And he's also of farmer of his own, at Warren's Orchid in Millerton, PA. No sign of late blight on his farm.
"I have not seen late blight here in any sample brought to me yet. Early blight as always but no late blight," said Warren. "The cool temperatures are as much of a problem as any, no late blight."
Moss said it's just a risk you take.
"It's the enigma of growing," added Moss.
You can contact your local cooperative extension office for how to control late blight.