August 17th, 2011: The Maine Public Broadcasting Network Monday interviewed UMaine Cooperative Extension pest management specialist Jim Dill about new reports of late blight affecting potato plants in Aroostook, Kennebec and Androscoggin counties and tomatoes in Maine’s Mid-Coast areas. Damp, overcast weather helps spread spores from the fungus, which can devastate certain crops in a matter of days.
July 22nd, 2011 [Potato Update]: Potato late blight was found in one location in Central Aroostook County. The infection was in the upper portion of the plants, indicating that the infection was the result of wind-blown spores. Late blight has also been reported in Denmark, New Brunswick.
July 5th, 2011: The following states confirmed late blight (so be on the lookout): Maine, Michigan, Connecticut, Florida, New York, Delaware and Virginia. Conditions for the development of late blight have been very good in Maine and gardeners and farmers alike should be on the alert to catch any early symptoms on their tomato and/or potato plants. Typical symptoms will be water-soaked lesions on the leaves with fine, white cottony mycelium on the undersides. Infections on the stems appear as dark, almost black lesions.
More information about late blight:
- Photos of Symptoms
- Late Blight: Grower and Farm Stand Alert (Part of our UMaine Extension apple, small fruit and vegetable research program at Highmoor Farm) (download pdf)
- University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Late Blight publication (Published 2010)
- Gardening After Late Blight
- Late Blight on Tomato and Late Blight on Potato (Cornell University–includes photos)
- Organic Management of Late Blight of Potato and Tomato with Copper Products