Crop threatening disease found in Oneida County

Late blight, a contagious air borne disease that can destroy potato and tomato crops, has been found in Oneida County.

According to the Cornell Cooperative Extension, late blight wiped out much of the 2009 tomato crop and was responsible for the infamous Great Potato Famine in the 1800â??s.

The late blight thrives in cool, damp weather. The Cornell Cooperative Extension says last yearâ??s weather, and the recent wet weather, has provided the perfect environment for late blight to appear and spread.

The disease spreads quickly and infects plants may look healthy one day, and be dead the next. The Cornell Cooperative Extension says quarter-sized spots may appear on the leaves or stems of infected tomato and potato plants.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension says that to prevent the spread of the disease to other areas of an infect plant, fruit should be bagged and sent to a landfill. Infected plants and fruit should not be composted or burned as it releases the disease into the air, spreading the disease.

More information is available here where you can submit photos to find out if your plants are infected.

According to the Cornell Cooperative Extension, some Tomato varieties are reportedly resistant to Late Blight, including: Mountain Magic, Plum Regal, Legend and Iron Lady.

To protect against late blight, Cornell Cooperative Extension recommends using fungicides that contain the chemical chlorothalonil.

Some fungicides with chlorothalonil include:

Bonide Fung-onil Multi-purpose Fungicide: EPA Reg # 4-410,

Bonide Fung-onil Multi-purpose Fungicide Concentrate: EPA Reg # 60063-9-4,

Fruit Tree, Vegetable & Ornamental Fungicide: EPA Reg # 60063-9-54705,

Garden Disease Control Concentrate - Ortho Group: EPA Reg # 239-2522,

Gardentech Daconil Fungicide Concentrate:EPA Reg # 67572-82-71004, or

Gardentech Daconil Fungicide RTU: EPA Reg # 67572-2-71004
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