Protect tomatoes; late blight detected in Chautauqua County

late blight on tomatoes
Photo courtesy Edward Sikora, Auburn University, Bugwood.org

by Connie Oswald Stofko

Late blight, which affects tomatoes and potatoes, is present in Chautauqua County and is expected it to be found fairly soon in Cattaraugus County and Pennsylvania, according to the Cornell Cooperative Extension Vegetable Program. Given the current weather patterns, there is real risk that late blight has already traveled on the storm fronts to new places. 

You may not be upset if you lose a few tomato plants, but this disease 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 Cooperative Extension office for assistance with identification.

Check out this article from last year on what to do to prevent late blight, how to spot late blight, and what to do if you think you have late blight.

You may want to harvest your tomatoes now to prevent them from being damaged by late blight, said Emily C. Reynolds, executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Chautauqua County.

Here are some tips on ripening tomatoes off the vine.

Reynolds also recommended that you rotate next year’s planting; that is, plant your tomatoes and potatoes in a different spot.

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