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Farmers#039; Market set for Saturday

The Butler County Farmers' Market, in spite of the dry conditions, will still be held on Saturday mornings at the fairgrounds in Greenville and Thursday mornings at the Hank Williams Pavilion in Georgiana, opening at 7:30 a.m. at both locations. The first day of business was June 1, and there have been plenty of customers but few vendors. These vendors sold out very quickly. Due to the dry spell, many vendors are late getting produce ready to sell. I urge the public to be patient. I feel that as we progress into the summer there will be more produce available to sell. Hopefully, we will get more rain

Many Butler County senior citizens are participating in the Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP). They are receiving coupons that are redeemable for the purchase of homegrown fresh fruits and vegetables. These coupons can only be used at the Greenville and Georgiana markets and the Henry Heartsill farm located on Heartsill Road. Coupons can be accepted by those vendors who have had training on the FMNP, signed the farmer's agreement, and have a valid grower's permit. The permit can be obtained at the Butler County Extension Office at 101 South Conecuh Street in Greenville.

Let's pray for the rain we need and hopefully we will have a good market for a long time. If you have questions on the Farmers' Market, please call Russty Parrish at 334/382-5111.

Problems With Tomato Plants? There have been a lot of problems reported with tomato plants so far this season. I will attempt to cover the most common disease problems and what can be done to control them. Some of the most common problems I have seen are early blight and late blight.

Recently, there have been cases of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) and blossom end rot. Other diseases that cause problems, but generally not as much as the above mentioned, include cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), root knot nematode, septoria leaf spot, bacterial spot, fusarium wilt, verticillium wilt, southern blight, tobacco mosaic virus and bacterial canker.

Early blight, caused by the fungus Alternaria solani, usually begins on older leaves as dark, irregularly shaped spots. Spots enlarge up to one-half inch in diameter and are characterized by a black, target-like, concentric ring pattern.

Spots are surrounded by a yellow halo. Zonate spots also may occur on stems, leaf petioles and fruit. If early blight is severe, whole leaves turn yellow and quickly dry. The resulting leaf shed causes sunscald on the fruit.