Every summer, downy mildew spreads from Florida northward, adapting to nearly every defense pickle growers have in their arsenals and destroying their crops. Bernd Settnik/Picture Alliance via Getty Imageshide caption
The pickle is in peril. Each summer since the mid 2000s, Florida winds carry downy mildew to cucumber fields north. By summer's end, the disease reaches Michigan, leaving a trail of withered leaves and thwarted pickling plans.
With failed harvests, fewer growers are taking a chance on cucumbers. According to USDA records, pickling cucumber acreage declined nearly 25 percent between 2004 and 2015. Globally, downy mildew threatens fields as far fl
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