Some Potato Blight Found in Alaska

Cases of potato blight on 2 Alaska farms have been controlled, but agriculture officials are warning Alaska gardeners to keep an eye out for the fungus that can destroy potato crops. University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Service Agriculture agent Steve Brown says Late Blight effected plants were destroyed on a farm in Delta Junction and another in the MatSu.

It’s the first time Late Blight has shown up on Alaska potatoes since 2005, but Brown says it’s not surprising, given the cold, wet weather. The rapidly spreading disease causes potatoes to rot, and Brown says gardeners should be on the lookout for it.

Brown says gardeners who suspect Late Blight should contact their local Cooperative Extension office to make a positive i.d., before taking action. He says affected plants and potatoes can be burned, frozen or thrown out, but should not be composted to prevent spread.

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Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

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