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Wet weather taking bite out of southern Manitoba tomato crop

Humidity, consistent rains helping blight thrive in province's tomato fields


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WINNIPEG—Some tomato growers in southern Manitoba could face big losses this year due to blight.

Erin Crampton at Crampton’s Market in Winnipeg says wet weather this season, combined with humidity after it rains, means fields haven’t had a chance to dry out.

That’s allowed fungus and other diseases to set in.

Blight causes brown and white lesions on the fruit, and the spores spread through rain or wind.

Justin Girard at Hearts and Roots Farm in Elie says once blight has affected 20 per cent of a crop, it’s game over for the rest.

Blight also affects potatoes but it will be several weeks before it’s known how that crop will be affected.

Girard says when he noticed the first round of blight in his crops he immediately burned it. He says he’s looking at losing thousands of dollars due to the blight.

Crampton notes that regular brown marks or lines on tomatoes shouldn’t be mistaken for blight, adding they won’t affect the taste.


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