Blue Mold Back Again

By Anna Smithson | 

Blue Mold is back again, seen on tobacco crops in our area.

With spotting's in Monroe County and other areas, farmers are worried if this airborne tobacco disease is not treated then it will attack their crops as well.

Al Pedigo is no stranger to Blue Mold. He's been a local farmer for twenty-five years and is facing the fungus again this year.

"It's just the challenge we face as farmers," Pedigo said.

The airborne tobacco fungus Blue Mold was spotted in the area last week.

"Usually, it's this time of year or later unless it's brought up early in the season on tobacco transplants," Pedigo explained.

He said Blue Mold has made it to the area from the South on air currents.

"We had a good year from the disease standpoint. We got a good tobacco crop, but it looks like this late tobacco crop will be affected," Pedigo said.

In past years, farmers have lost thousands to this fungus. That's why Pedigo said if farmers are seeing it on their crops, they need to be treating it.

"Everybody needs to be spraying that's in this area. A storm comes through and blows Blue Mold through the air and it can affect several counties away," Pedigo assured.

As for his tobacco farm...

"We've treated this field one time and now we will treat it again to try to keep check on the Blue Mold. We do the best we can. We treat it and we've treated this crop, but it still has some of the mold."

Pedigo said it's a battle farmers can't stop fighting, especially since it can effect other farmers' crops.

Pedigo said spraying his crops is the key to preventing other farms from getting this airborne fungus.

He said he's already experiencing a loss in his fields that could cost him thousands before it's over.

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