Answer: There are two possible explanantions I can think of. The first is that cutworms are attacking the branches, if this is happening while the plants are still small. The second is that is it verticillium wilt which can attack isolated parts of the plant. Although there is no control for this problem, you may find relief by careful rotation practices, keeping in mind that eggplant, potatoes, peppers and tomatoes are all subject to this problem and should not be grown in the same spot for at least three years. You should also be very careful to clean up and destroy any plant litter (including roots) during the season and every fall. For a more specific diagnosis, you might take a sample to your County Extension (765-3500).
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