June 24, 2024

OTTAWA — The attack of the tomato killers is marching across the eastern U.S. A strain of the fungus that caused the historic Irish potato blight and famine that pushed thousands of Irish immigrants across the Atlantic to the U.S. in the 19th century is moving through 13 states in the northeast at an alarming rate. Franklin County Extension agent Darren Hibdon said he’s been receiving information about the tomato fungus. Hibdon said he hopes that the fungus won’t reach Kansas but he expects the tomato killer to reach here in two to three years. The fungus will put pressure on home gardeners to check plants carefully each day. Infected tomatoes have gray or dark marks on their stems.

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