Plant-killing Late Blight confirmed in Orleans County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 August 2019 at 12:56 pm

Photo courtesy of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County: This tomato from a home garden in Carlton has been confirmed to have Late Blight.

CARLTON – Late Blight was confirmed in Orleans County on August 23. It was found in a tomato from a home garden in Carlton, the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Orleans County reported.

Late Blight is a serious disease of tomatoes and potatoes and can kill plants in less than two weeks. Disease spots are often dark gray to brown in color and tend to be surrounded by pale green tissue. Disease lesions can be found on all parts of the plant – stems, leaves, fruit, tubers.

“If you find late blight it is probably too late to save your plants,” said Katie Oakes, Extension horticulture educator.

Bag up diseased plants ASAP, preferably when the sun is shining and if possible, when the plants are dry. Let them cook in the sun in garbage bags, then dispose of them. Do not compost plants.

The spores are airborne so leaving your plants alive will infect your neighbors as well as local farmers whose livelihoods will be severely affected, the Extension said in an advisory.

For help identifying Late Blight, bring a sample to a Cornell Cooperative Extension office – preferably in a clear, plastic bag.

Since this disease is aggressive, spreads easily, and can be very damaging to area farmers, Cornell Cooperative Extension asks that anyone suspecting they have Late Blight please contact their local CCE office for assistance.

In Orleans County, the office can be reached at 585-798-4265.

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