Article from 'Rappahannock News'
December 14, 2020

"Now, says Julie Shortridge, an assistant professor and extension specialist at Virginia Tech, destructive insects that used to plague farmers only in South Carolina and Georgia are showing up in Virginia fields.

“That means more intense pest management,” said Steven Rideout, another Virginia Tech professor and extension specialist. “That could mean more pesticides, which is more costly and has an impact on the environment. And it can make it a lot more difficult for organic farms.”

Rideout said scientists are likewise seeing certain diseases in places where they usually don’t, such as southern blight, a fungus that can infect tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and pumpkins.

“You didn’t see that in the Shenandoah Valley 10 years ago,” he said. "