Do you know what caused the Irish potato famine in the 1840s and 1850s?
Did you know these problems caused massive hunger, distress, and resulted in mass emigration from the region for many years?
Did you also know that this disease can still be a concern if not properly managed?
And that the fungus which caused the Irish potato famine is still attacking! It can cause serious problems for potato, tomato, eggplants and other solanaceous crops today. Phytophthora infestans (appropriate name since it “infests”) is the cause of potato late blight; it is a fast moving, community disease, which growers (as well as home gardeners and garden center managers) must take seriously and manage properly to ensure a healthy, adequate food supply. (more…)
There are many pesky concerns for Wisconsin vegetable growers every year—weather, growth problems, pests, water, market demand—but one pest problem, collectively known as foliar or leaf blights, is especially challenging. You have all battled these in your home gardens since they attack crops such as tomatoes, potatoes, carrots and cucumbers. These are the diseases that cause perfectly green plants to break out in brown spots, turn yellow and die prematurely in mid-season just when you are anticipating a delicious harvest. When the leaves begin to yellow and the brown spots appear, many home gardeners run to the garden center seeking a remedy to stave off the impending loss of their carefully nurtured plants only to find that once the disease starts to progress, there is no stopping it. (more…)