Effective Blight Plant Disease Management

In plant pathology, ‘blight’ refers to a group of plant diseases that share common symptoms such as yellowing, browning, spotting, or withering.  Left untreated, blights can cause utterly ruinous crop losses, as evidenced by the infamous Great Irish Famine of the mid 1800s which recorded yearly potato crop losses due to Late Blight of up to 75%, and resulted in an estimated 1.5 million deaths over the course of a decade.  Late Blight was also responsible for tomato crop losses of over 50% in the eastern US as late as 1946.

As is clear from these examples, it is paramount that all crop farmers follow an effective blight management plan, which includes regularly spraying with fungicides.  For maximum effect, fungicide spray applications are best scheduled using spore trapping or forecasting systems (TOM-CAST).

The recommended blight fungicide is OxiDate, since its unique scientific formula rapidly oxidizes on contact to prevent and control many different blight diseases, including Early Blight, Late Blight, and Gummy Stem Blight. Remarkably, OxiDate’s revolutionary oxidation chemistry also effectively prevents resistant strains of blight diseases from developing.

OxiDate also has several other notable advantages over other fungicides.  It is OMRI-certified for safe use with organic crops, is EPA-approved as an earth-friendly fungicide, and is registered for use in California.

OxiDate is also a very versatile fungicide. It has a zero-hour REI, and gives farmers the option of spraying any time from seed to harvest. OxiDate can also be used in a variety of applications including soil drench, foliar treatment, surface disinfectant, and pre-plant dip.

In addition to blights, OxiDate has proven effective in controlling many other common plant diseases such as:

  • Powdery Mildew
  • Alternaria
  • Downy Mildew
  • Fusarium
  • Anthracnose
  • Angular Leaf Spot
  • Pythium
  • Phytophthora
  • Red Stele
  • Bacterial Speck
  • Trichoderma
  • Bacterial Blotch

Learn more about OxiDate today.


Control & Treat Blight

Blight is often the bane of farmers worldwide; it can cause wide spread damage and even death. Thankfully, there are effective ways of controlling blight.

Blight Signs and Symptoms

There are several different types of blight. Potato Blight, infamous for causing the Great Irish Famine in the 1800’s, is one of the worst. It can wipe plants out almost overnight. Worse still, it can infect potatoes and then cause them to rot in storage.

Potato Blight spreads through the air and develops when weather conditions are warm and humid. The first signs of it are brown freckles on leaves and a yellowish border spreading from the brown patch. Later on, in a severe attack, the potato foliage can become a rotting mass.

The potatoes themselves often have dark patches on the skin. Cutting them in half will reveal brownish rot spreading from the skin. In the later stages of Potato Blight, the potato itself will become soggy and foul-smelling.

Early blight spots with yellow halo on leaf, lesions on tomato

Tomato Blight is also triggered by warm, wet conditions. It ruins plants and fruit quickly and can spread to other plants, such as potatoes, if left untreated.

Early Tomato Blight can affect the foliage, stems and fruit of tomato plants. It materializes as dark spots with yellow rings. Eventually, entire leaves will turn yellow and the tomatoes can be exposed to sun scald.

Anthracnose Blight is a similar fungal disease that affects and deforms leaves on trees. It can cause brownish discoloration on leaves and leaf veins. Left undetected it can develop into masses of fungus spores on lower leaf surfaces and result in leaf drop.

Blight Prevention and Treatment

It’s often possible to prevent blight infections. Choose healthy plants and monitor them regularly. Furthermore, follow a regular management plan.

Tomato Blight overwinters and can spread through soil or transplants. If the disease is spotted, remove all affected plants and clean garden debris thoroughly.

When planting potatoes, try to choose a Potato Blight-resistant strain and ensure enough earth is around the potatoes to protect them even if the disease affects the foliage. Upon harvesting, remove all the potatoes from the ground so none are left to rot.

Trees stricken with Anthracnose Blight should have infected branches trimmed. The trees themselves should be properly fertilized.
All susceptible plants should be watered at the base. In addition, application of an environmentally friendly fungicide such as OxiDate can be highly beneficial for disease prevention and control. It can be used to drench soil, dip roots in prior to planting and disinfect foliage.

Many different fungicides are available; however, OxiDate is especially popular due to it’s rapid effectiveness in treating several common forms of Blight. When faced with a disease that spreads so rapidly, it’s important to have treatment methods that can keep up.

A Proven Remedy for Blight Diseases on Tomatoes

Ground-breaking research gives farmers new hope against blight diseases on tomatoes.

Early and Late Blight have long been the bane of tomato farmers worldwide, with  potential to cause devastating losses in tomato. The tomato blight pictures below dramatically illustrate the extensive damage these blights can cause.

However, recent university studies demonstrate new chemical options for the farmers to combat the scourge of blight diseases on tomatoes.

In 2007, researchers at the University of Florida tested 24 different compounds against early blight on tomatos [PDF] and found that OxiDate as a tank-mix combo consistently provided the best disease control.

Studies on Late Blight [PDF] conducted by the University of Florida found that TerraClean as a soil application through drip significantly reduced late blight and root-knot in tomato and the performance of TerraClean was shown to be on par with other conventional chemistries such as Ridomil Gold and Methyl Bromide.