Devastating Disease: Bacterial Spot a Problem for Some Florida Producers

Clint Thompson Disease, Florida, Tomatoes, Top Posts

UF/IFAS picture shows bacterial spot on tomato.

According to the South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline, bacterial spot disease is active in tomato and pepper fields on the east coast and around southwest Florida.

It is present at moderate levels in older hot pepper plants. Bacterial spot disease flares up after rain events and with fog in tomatoes and non-resistant peppers across the southwest region of Florida.

Reports from the Manatee Ruskin indicate low levels of bacterial spot in susceptible peppers. Farmers and scouts in Homestead, Florida report the disease is present in tomato and susceptible pepper varieties.

Bacterial spot is a serious threat to tomato and pepper production in Florida. It spreads quickly during warm periods with wind-driven rains. Fruit symptoms lead to reduced marketability.

Symptoms on tomatoes include distinct spots with or without yellowing. Fruit spots often begin as dark specks with or without a white halo. As spots increase, they become raised and scab-like.

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