The New England Tomato Famine
July 30, 2009 8:46 AM Subscribe
posted by electroboy (46 comments total)
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, the fungal disease that caused the Irish Potato Famine
may destroy this years tomato crop in the Northeast and Midatlantic
Late blight thrives in the cool, wet weather
the Northeast has been experiencing this season. The fungus is hitting organic farmers
particularly hard due to the expense and relative ineffectiveness of organic fungicides. Late blight infections of both tomato and potato crops have been reported in the Hudson Valley region of New York state.
Infected plants appear to have been originally distributed from big box garden centers
, with some blaming Bonnie Plants
, a large nursery with greenhouses in 38 states. Bonnie Plants claims
it was a victim of the disease and that they're being scapegoated due to the timing of their voluntary recall.
aka The Blogging Nurseryman pointed out
that whoever is to blame, the problem was exacerbated by the multistate distribution of plants, rather than sourcing from local greenhouses. Whereas John Mishanec
of Cornell University says
"Farms are inspected, greenhouses are inspected, but garden centers aren't, and the people who work there aren't trained to spot disease."
on late blight, from Cornell's Plant Diagnostic Clinic