Canada: Late blight threatens Ontario's open field tomato production

This year’s wet and cooler summer has been a nightmare for anyone in Ontario attempting to grow open field tomatoes either as farm produce or right in their own backyard. Late blight has been more widespread than normal creating havoc and destroying up to 80 per cent of open field tomato crops on farms across Essex County. Greenhouse tomatoes are not affected.

“Every farmer has had an issue with it,” said Monica Brandner of Brandner Farms in Ruthven. “For us, it was about 80 per cent of the plants affected. It really takes a bite into our financials because it’s not something you plan on.

“It’s a fast-acting disease so it takes down a crop pretty fast,” she said. “We are advising growers to use treatments to avoid getting the disease in their fields.

“Once it gets in the field the spores get in the wind and it spreads. We do see it every year, but in recent years it is more widespread on the processing tomatoes.”

Essex County is one of the largest producers in Ontario in terms of field and processing tomatoes.

Source: Windsor Star

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