Late Blight hits Winnebago County - – Rockford’s News Leader

Late Blight hits Winnebago County


The state of Illinois' first confirmed case of Late Blight, or Phytophthora infestans, in 2013 has been found in Winnebago County.

The disease was found on a tomato on August 30.

"Late Blight can cause devastating damage including yield loss" says Grant McCarty, University of Illinois' Extension Local Foods and Small Farms Educator for Jo Daviess, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties. "It has the ability to spread very fast among crops like tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers. Late blight conditions first show up as water soaked lesions on the leaves. Fruit may also become infected overtime."

Managing Late Blight includes scouting the disease and preventative spraying of fungicide. Once the blight is diagnosed, any infected plant materials should be destroyed to prevent spread. Growers can rotate crops, remove diseased plants and leaves, control weeds and insects, sanitize and clean tools, and plant disease resistant varieties to prevent the blight.

For more information on Late Blight and prevention, click here or call the U of I Extension office in your county:

  • Jo Daviess - 815-858-2273
  • Stephenson - 815-235-4125
  • Winnebago - 815-986-4357
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