Hurricane Florence Continues to Impact Wake County Agriculture
The devastating swath of Hurricane Florence diverted its course from Raleigh last month, leaving the majority of farms intact and with minimal damage. However, the lurking humidity and lengthy rains provided the perfect conditions for outbreaks of crop diseases within the county. Shortly after the storm, farmers began calling the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Wake County office to inquire about symptoms in their crop plants. In response to increased farmer concerns, local agriculture and horticulture county agents along with North Carolina State University (NCSU) crop extension specialists conducted individual farm visits to help diagnose the issues observed in local crop production fields across Wake County.
County agents assisted local growers with sampling diseased plants for a proper identification of the pest causing the disease and evaluating options – chemical, cultural, physical – to best control and prevent further damage to the crop. Samples were taken to the North Carolina State University Plant and Disease Diagnostic Clinic (NCSU-PDIC) for identification. The NCSU-PDIC is a service for any individual who has a plant concern and charges a discounted fee for physical samples submitted through the N.C. Cooperative Extension of Wake County office. Some heavily affected crops include Fusarium root rot in soybean and phytophthora blight in zucchini.
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