Late blight is earlier than expected and has been popping up in tomato and potato crops up and down the Atlantic Coast.

North Carolina State University plant pathologists Kelly Ivors and Lina Quesada-Ocampo confirmed the disease in North Carolina, according to a news release.

And Extension specialists at Rutgers University confirmed it in two commercial potato fields in Salem County, N.J., and in a commercial field near Leipsic, Del.

In addition, there has been one report of late blight on tomatoes in Mercer County, N.J.

They urged growers to scout their fields regularly and apply weekly protectant fungicides.

North Carolina experts blamed recent heavy rainfall for conditions conducive to late blight development.

Given the recent rain and weather conditions and the fact that the disease is present in the state earlier than expected, the disease will be harder to control season-long and could quickly spread to other areas,” Ivors said in a recent pest alert.

For more information on late blight in North Carolina, including management recommendations, visit