August 28, 2013 – Late blight was discovered in Southern Alberta earlier this summer, but has been developing and spreading eastward through the region.
Growers should increase their vigilance and monitoring for this disease and be prepared to respond as necessary.
Rob Spencer, commercial horticulture specialist with Alberta Agriculture, says increased awareness in both the industry and the public has led to a greater effort to monitor fields, gardens and greenhouses in order to protect crops from late blight, as well as a quicker response to any perceived infections. He says it is recommended that all growers of potato or tomato take specific steps to prevent the carryover of disease into future years, as a number of valuable crop industries in Alberta could be impacted by repeated outbreaks.
Alberta Agriculture is interested to know if there are any late blight issues on tomatoes or potatoes in market gardens. If you suspect late blight on any potato or tomato plants, please send a photo of the symptoms to Rob Spencer.
For further information, contact Mike Harding, plant pathologist with Alberta Agriculture, at 403-362-1338, Rob Spencer, commercial horticulture specialist with Alberta Agriculture, at 403-742-7563, or call the Ag-Info Centre at 310-FARM (3276).
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