Our intrepid reporter Henry Brimmer interviewed MSU student Rachel Beyer at the Student Organic Farm about the late blight outbreak. On Thursday, August 20, Rachel expressed concerned that the farm could lose all of its 900 feet of tomato plants by Monday.
Michigan State University professor Henry Brimmer shot this video of the late blight that has hit the university’s Student Organic Farm on the MSU campus.
Late blight is a serious problem in the Northeast this year, and there is controversy about whom or what to blame. The New York Times article “You say tomato, I say agricultural disaster” has set off contentious discussions nationwide. Some folks point to Bonnie’s, the seedling grower in Georgia who ships to big box stores like Wal-Mart, as villains in the story. Others note that farmers have always faced greater problems with late blight in cool, wet summers. The International Business Times offers the latest information on the possible Bonnie’s connection./p>
As of this writing, there is no word on where the late blight pathogen that hit the MSU SOF came from. But the incident serves as a reminder that growers have always faced challenges from plant diseases.