Monday, July 13, 2015

Late blight in western North Carolina- the 2015 season begins!

Tomato Late Blight Detected 
in Western North Carolina 
on July 10 2015

— Written By Frank Louws, plant pathologist, NCSU
Late blight was detected in Buncombe County NC in the afternoon of July 10, 2015. This is the first report of late blight on tomato in North Carolina and in the southern region since January. The samples have not been confirmed by the clinic nor registered with the program yet; this will be done first thing next week. However, there is no doubt that it is late blight. The late blight pathogen can travel long distances from one county to another and from one state to another. Therefore, it is critical that growers and industry personnel actively scout their fields. If suspect samples are found they should be sent to the local extension office or contact your local cooperative extension agent for diagnosis through the Plant Disease and Insect Clinic. We will also forward samples to Cornell for typing the genotype. Growers should be prepared to switch fungicide programs to include products such as chlorothalonil in rotation with Revus Top, Presidio or Ranman and according to published recommendations in the North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual page 532 or the 2015 Southeastern U.S. Vegetable Crop Handbook page 228. Organic recommendations are also available. Additional information on identification, management, including organic management, and occurrence of the disease can be found at the USAblight website. For more information about tomato late blight and how to control it see the plant pathology tomato and potato late blight fact sheets. The weather forecast the next few days in Western NC is not highly conducive to late blight but the pathogen can build up rapidly under wet and cooler conditions.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Opportunity to Hear Three Medicinal Plant Experts Speak for Free in SW VA This Weekend!

Appalachian Green to Gold, a free workshop on how to grow and market ginseng, medicinal herbs, and other woodland botanicals will be held on Saturday, July 11, from 1 to  3:30, at the Norton Community Center in Norton, VA.  Sponsored by AppalCeed, a local organization committed to economic development and diversification in SW Virginia, the workshop features three renowned experts in growing wild-simulated ginseng and other medicinal herbs as cash crops. Dr. Jeanine Davis and Steve Persons, coauthors of the authoritative book Growing and Marketing Ginseng, Goldenseal and Other Woodland Medicinals, and David Grimsley, co-director of the Appalachian Medicinal Herb Growers Consortium in Floyd County, Virginia, will be the presenters.

Learn the basics on how to grow and sell valuable medicinal herbs and be part of the solution by practicing "conservation through cultivation".  Farmers, backyard gardeners, small business owners, and anyone interested in diversifying the local economy are invited to attend this free workshop.  Seeds and books will be available for purchase. Snacks will be provided.  Space is limited so arrive early. The Norton Community Center is located at  201 East Park Avenue NE adjacent to Norton Elementary and Middle School, just past the new rock wall. Watch for the signs.

(Photo is David washing medicinal herb roots years ago when he worked in my program)