Growers of potatoes and tomatoes beware…late blight appears to be back in Wisconsin this year.
The first case this season of the fungus affecting tomato and potato crops was found this week in Marquette County. Amanda Gevens, a plant pathologist with UW-Extension, says a commercial potato grower discovered the blight on a small portion of his crop.
Late blight is a type of water mold that thrives in wet conditions. It produces lesions on the leaves, which then also appear on the tomatoes and potatoes themselves. Gevens says the spores usually can move through the air up to 40 miles and can develop in less than a week.
Gevens says they’re working to contain the outbreak in Marquette County, but gardeners are urged to carefully check their crops. Fungicides can typically be used to help protect against late blight.
Growers are urged to contact UW-Extension if they suspect the presence of late blight on their tomato or potato crops.