Potato blight detected on farms in Palmer, Delta Junction

September 2, 2011 

FAIRBANKS -- Potato blight has been detected in the fields of a potato producer in Delta Junction and another in Palmer.

The fungus-like disease can kill plants in the field or cause potatoes to rot in storage. It can be controlled through the use of fungicides, but the cool, damp weather this summer has created an ideal environment for the disease to spread.

Infected plants have dark lesions that appear on leaves or stems, and gray-white spores form on the underside of leaves. Officials say it is the fourth outbreak of blight in Alaska since 1995.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner says farmers or gardeners who suspect blight in their crops are being asked to contact Cooperative Extension officials with the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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