By: Amanda Tracey and Katie Goldenhar
There have been reports of late blight symptoms on potato in Simcoe and Dufferin counties, as well as on tomatoes in Elgin County, Ontario. There has also been sporangia of Phytophthora infestans detected via spore traps in tomato fields in Elgin, Kent and Essex counties.
Commercial growers should scout often and ensure they are using fungicides with good late blight activity in their fungicide program. When late blight is in the area, spray intervals should be shortened.
In situations where there is continued high disease pressure, growers should consider adding a targeted late blight fungicide to the spray program. If late blight has been identified in a field, use a fungicide with curative and antisporulent activity. A summary of fungicides for late blight management in tomato is available here.
Cloudy and high humidity or wet conditions are favourable for late blight. The pathogen prefers cool temperatures. The disease is suppressed by hot, dry weather, but it can continue developing and spreading when suitable conditions return.
This is a community disease and control relies on everyone scouting and reporting any occurrences. If you suspect late blight in your crop, please reach out to an OMAFRA specialist to confirm the diagnosis quickly.
Amanda Tracey (email@example.com, 519-350-7134)