Three fungal diseases hit Pacific Northwest vegetable crops

08/25/2014 05:15:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

click image to zoomLindsey du Toit, Washington State UniversityBlack leg symptoms on a cabbage seedling grown from an infested seed lot.Three fungal diseases have hit Pacific Northwest vegetable and oilseed growers, prompting Washington State University plant pathologists to urge growers to take extra precautions.

They are black leg, light leaf spot and white leaf spot.

Of the three, black is the most serious and can cause significant problems for fall- and spring-planted broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collar, kale, rutabaga, mustard, canole and other plans in the brassica family, according to a news release.

Plant pathologist Lindsey du Toit recommended growers use certified seed that tests negative for the disease.

The most recent outbreaks of all three fungal diseases occurred in Oregon's Willamette Valley this spring.

During the 1970s, black leg in the eastern and Midwest nearly devastated the brassica seed industry as the outbreaks were tied to infected seed lots from the Pacific Northwest.

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