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Pest Alert: Late Blight Found in Arkansas Tomato Crops

July 6, 2016

ARKANSAS: Due to heavy spring rains, the fungal disease late blight has been found at a dramatically higher rate than usual per the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

One of the most destructive and infectious diseases of tomatoes, late blight can cause total loss in tomato crops. The disease has been compared to ‘wildfire’ because of its rapid spread and destruction of the plants it infects.

Prevention is key to disease control in tomato fields. To give crops a fighting chance, proactive management will be more important than ever. When checking fields for late blight, look out for these symptoms:

  • Large dark-green or gray spots on leaves surrounded by a lighter halo or ring
  • Spots visible on both sides of the leaves
  • White-to-gray fungus growth development on the undersides of the leaves at the edges of the spots
  • Dark brown spots on the stems and petioles
  • Tomato fruit rot (blotchy and dark brown, but firm)

Arkansas Cooperative Extension recommends managing late blight by starting a fungicide spray program at planting. An application may also be able to stop the spread if symptoms are just beginning.

For effective control, Syngenta recommends Orondis Opti® fungicide in a season-long disease management program with other fungicides like Revus Top®. Orondis® Opti fungicide exhibits long-lasting disease control and systemic redistribution, bringing protection against late blight in tomatoes. Combining the proven multi-site action of chlorothalonil, with the unique mode of action of oxathiapiprolin, Orondis Opti also offers built-in resistance management and can be included in a season-long disease control program.  To find out if Orondis Opti is approved for use in your area, visit this page.

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