Spray to Prevent Late Blight on Potato and Tomato

Kate Everts, Vegetable Pathologist, University of Delaware and University of Maryland; keverts@umd.edu

Late blight has been found on potato in central New Jersey. The grower was applying preventative fungicides, however lesions occurred in a part of the field that the sprayer missed. All potato and tomato crops are susceptible to this disease. Growers should scout and apply preventative fungicides to protect their crops. Chlorothalonil, mancozeb or Polyram can be applied to potato and chlorothalonil, Gavel, or mancozeb can be applied to tomato. Complete coverage of the field is extremely important. Once late blight has been found close to a grower’s field, switch to a fungicide that is late blight specific. More information on available fungicides for this disease can be found at http://ag.udel.edu/extension/vegprogram/publications.htm#vegrecs.

Controlling late blight in organic systems is extremely difficult. Organic growers should apply a protectant such as copper to their crop. Serenade, Sonata and Sporatec are OMRI listed, and labeled for late blight. (However, there are very few research trials on efficacy of these products). It is critical to apply these materials with adequate coverage and at short spray intervals.

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