Wet NJ weather bad for gypsy moths, tomatoes

July 16, 2009 5:17:29 AM PDT
New Jersey's wet weather is making it easier to control gypsy moths and harder to grow tomatoes. The state Agriculture Department says gypsy moths have munched trees on under 92,000 acres statewide this year. Last year, they claimed nearly 340,000 acres.

Officials tell The Star-Ledger of Newark that's partly because of a fungus they introduced several years ago to kill off caterpillar larvae. The fungus thrives when it's wet and cool, as it was through much of May and June.

But another thriving fungus has been bad for tomatoes. Penn State University researchers tell The Philadelphia Inquirer a fungus has ruined tomato plants in five of the state's 21 counties.

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