Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Farmers warned to be on the lookout for blight

Daily American Sunday Editor - June 23, 2012 - Weather conditions this year have local agriculture experts warning private and commercial growers to be on the lookout for a potentially-devastating blight outbreak in tomatoes and potatoes."We've confirmed it (blight) already in Blair, Franklin and Mifflin counties," said Tom Ford, an area commercial horticulture educator for the Penn State Extension. "We're waiting on test results for Lancaster (county), but it's there, too." The fungus — Late blight, the same disease that caused Ireland's potato famine in the 19th century — thrives in cooler and damp conditions which were prevalent earlier this year, Ford said. "The issue is that the infection is airborne so any field or crops within a few miles can be affected quickly," he said. "Once you have symptoms develop you can lose entire crop out of a field in three to five days," he said. Nancy Merrill, "Everybody's edgy about it hitting private gardens." The last outbreak resulted in considerable losses for both home gardeners and commercial growers across the Northeast, she said. http://www.dailyamerican.com/news/somerset/da-ot-farmers-warned-to-be-on-the-lookout-for-blight-20120623,0,2484000.story


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