- Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2015

HINESBURG, Vt. (AP) - The University of Vermont Plant Diagnostic Clinic says it has found its first case this season of late blight - a disease that can infect tomatoes, potatoes and other plants.

The disease was spotted Tuesday on potato foliage at an organic farm in Hinesburg.

It appeared five weeks earlier this year than it did last year. Officials suspect recent storms blew the spores in from western New York and New Jersey.

The disease starts as nickel-sized, water-soaked spots on tomato and potato leaves.

UVM Extension officials say to cut infected plants and put them in trash bags that are going to the landfill rather than compost them. Farmers are advised to cut large plantings in fields, gather them together and burn them or turn them under so they completely decompose.

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