Processing tomatoes facing a critical threat: curly top

Jun 13, 2013

This year's Fresno County processing tomato crop is suffering from a severe case of curly top virus, reported Alice Daniel on the California Report this morning.

Daniel interviewed Tom Turini, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Fresno County. He said it's common to find some tomatoes infected with curly top, but this year is much worse than usual. The virus is transmitted by beet leafhoppers, which in dry years arrive early from coastal foothills and infect a bigger swath of cropland.

Fresno county has about 100,000 acres of processing tomatoes. Some fields have been completely lost.

"It is likely we're going have lower production in this area, which does account for over a third of California processing tomato production," Turini said.

Listen to the report here:

For more on curly top virus, see the UC Pest Management Guidelines for the disease.

By Jeannette E. Warnert
Author - Communications Specialist