LANGLADE COUNTY - Farmers in Central Wisconsin need to keep a close eye on their potatoes.
Agricultural leaders from UW-Extension received a report of late blight from a farm in Portage County. Late blight is a disease that can kill potato and tomato crops.
The blight was found last week near Stevens Point, and leaders are worried about it spreading into Langlade County. Late blight can spread out several miles though the wind and the water. Agriculture experts in Langlade say there are certain things that you can do to protect your crops.
"Go out and scout them, look at them, we would like you to also spray protectants," says UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Stephanie Plaster. "Home gardeners should be spraying a copper or chlorothalonil-based spray. There are also organic copper sprays available for folks that would like to remain organic."
Last year, late blight caused millions of dollars in damage and wiped out more than two entire potato fields in Langlade County. Gardeners and farmers should stick to a strict schedule to protect their tomatoes and potatoes.
"Farmers should be on a five to seven day spray schedule and be scouting in-between," says Plaster. "Really, we would like home gardeners to be doing this as well, because this is a community disease. Once it hits our seed potatoes in Langlade County, it can really do millions and millions of dollars in damage. It can wipe out a whole field in three weeks."
Leaders recommend the copper-based spray to help kill the late blight. The blight report out of Portage County is the only report in the entire state this year.