• Assessment of Fungicides to Manage Sclerotinia Drop of Lettuce in 2007

      Matheron, Michael E.; Porchas, Martin; Byrne, David N. (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2008-01)
      Sclerotinia drop on lettuce is caused by two soil-borne fungi, Sclerotinia minor and S. sclerotiorum. This disease is favored by moist soil and moderate temperatures. Some registered products as well as new chemistries in development were compared for their ability to suppress Sclerotinia drop on lettuce during the winter vegetable growing season in 2006-2007. Sclerotia of each pathogen were incorporated into plots after lettuce thinning and just before the first application of test compounds. In plots infested with S. minor, Sclerotinia drop was reduced most effectively by some of the treatments containing boscalid, (Endura), fluazinam (Omega), Coniothyrium minitans (Contans), potassium silicate (Silmatrix), and polyoxin D (Endorse), where disease reduction compared to untreated plants ranged from 34 to 53%.. In plots infested with S. sclerotiorum, disease was reduced most effectively by application of iprodione (Rovral) and Omega followed by cyprodinil+fludioxonil (Switch), where Sclerotinia drop reduction compared to untreated plants ranged from 40 to 52%. Several other treatments provided significant but lessor degrees of disease control in the presence of S. minor and S. sclerotiorum. Two applications of the biopesticide Contans significantly reduced disease in plots infested with either S. minor or S. sclerotiorum. There was no statistical difference in disease control for either pathogen between application of Endura at 50 or 100 gal/acre. Two applications of Endura resulted in significantly higher disease control compared to one application of this product for plots infested with S. sclerotiorum; however, there was no difference in plots containing S. minor. For a valid comparison of products for control of Sclerotinia drop of lettuce, it is important to compare the results obtained from more than one field study. The reader is urged to review previous studies in addition to this report to get an accurate picture of the relative efficacy of tested compounds for control of Sclerotinia drop. Fungicides are not the only tools available to growers to manage Sclerotinia drop. Cultural methods, such as soil solarization or soil flooding in the summer, as well as crop rotation, can greatly reduce the number of viable sclerotia in an infested field. Use of these cultural methods alone or in combination with fungicide treatments can result in dramatic reductions in the incidence of Sclerotinia drop of lettuce.
    • Effect of Fungicides and Lettuce Cultivar on Severity of Botrytis Gray Mold: 2007 Study

      Matheron, Michael E.; Porchas, Martin; Byrne, David N. (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2008-01)
      Gray mold, caused by the fungus Botrytis cinerea, usually has been considered a minor disease in field-grown lettuce. However, for the past two lettuce production seasons, the incidence of this disease has increased significantly in Southwestern Arizona lettuce fields. Most of the infected fields were planted to romaine lettuce; however, some iceberg lettuce plantings were involved as well. The occurrence of gray mold was most prevalent during February and March. The primary symptoms of the disease include plant wilting accompanied by a fuzzy gray growth at the plant base, which contains masses of airborne spores. Sclerotia may also be present on infected tissue. Infected plants that show these symptoms usually wilt and die. Botrytis cinerea can survive on crop debris, as a pathogen on numerous crops and weed hosts, and as sclerotia in soil. Airborne spores that land on senescent or damaged lettuce stems and leaves germinate and rapidly colonize this tissue. Once established, the pathogen grows into adjacent healthy stems and leaves. A field trial was established to 1) evaluate the effectiveness of some fungicides to reduce the incidence of Botrytis gray mold and 2) compare the susceptibility of some lettuce cultivars to this disease. Botrytis gray mold did not develop in plots of the crisphead cultivar 'Winterhaven'; however, the disease was present in all plots planted with cultivars of romaine lettuce. Among the tested romaine cultivars, Botrytis gray mold incidence was lowest in 'A 35585-1', 'Fresh Heart' and 'Rome 59' in untreated plots as well as in plots treated four times with the fungicides Rovral, Endura, or Switch. On the other hand, disease incidence was highest on the cultivar 'Green Towers' in untreated plots as well as those treated with one of the three tested fungicides. To compare the ability of tested fungicides to control Botrytis gray mold, the disease incidence values for each of the five romaine cultivars treated with each specific fungicide were pooled together and compared to disease levels recorded on untreated plants. Foliar applications of treatments were made Jan 24, Feb 1, Feb 16 and Feb 28, 2007. A 31% reduction in disease was recorded on romaine lettuce plants treated with Switch, whereas a 17% reduction in Botrytis gray mold was observed on plants treated with Endura. Rovral did not significantly reduce Botrytis gray mold in this trial. Additional field trials are planned to verify these initial findings.
    • Efficacy of New Fungicides as Potential Management Tools for Phytophthora Crown and Root Rot on Pepper Plants

      Matheron, Michael E.; Porchas, Martin; Byrne, David N. (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2008-01)
      Phytophthora blight of peppers (Capsicum annuum) is caused by the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora capsici. In Arizona, the root and crown rot phase of the disease initially can appear on plants early in the growing season in areas of the field where soil remains saturated with water after an irrigation or rainfall event. Disease severity can increase dramatically due to summer rains during July and August in the southeastern Arizona production area. Fungicides are an important component of a Phytophthora disease management system, when used in combination with other management practices such as crop rotation, raised beds, and water management. The efficacy of the systemic fungicide mefenoxam (Ridomil Gold) for control of Phytophthora blight on pepper has been documented; however, in many pepper production regions, populations of the pathogen insensitive to this fungicide have developed. Other chemistries, including dimethomorph (Acrobat) as well as some new fungicides in development, have activity on some species of Phytophthora and associated diseases on crops other than pepper. The objective of the following study was to evaluate these additional chemistries for efficacy in suppressing development of root and crown rot on pepper plants grown in soil naturally infested with Phytophthora capsici in a greenhouse environment. The mean duration of survival for Aristotle bell pepper plants in untreated soil infested with P. capsici was 29 days. On the other hand, a significant increase in pepper plant survival was achieved when soil was treated with Reason (fenamidone) + Previcur Flex (propamocarb), SA-110201, Ranman (cyazofamid), Omega (fluazinam), Ridomil Gold (mefenoxam), V-10161(fluopicolide), Forum (dimethomorph), NOA-446510 (mandipropamid), IR-6141 (kiralaxyl), and Maestro (captan). The data from this study suggest that several fungicides currently not registered for use on peppers may be effective components of a management program for Phytophthora crown and root rot. The data is promising; however, additional studies in field soil naturally infested with P. capsici are needed to confirm these preliminary findings as well as to determine the optimal application rate and timing for each new chemistry.
    • Evaluation of Fungicides for Management of Powdery Mildew on Lettuce in 2007

      Matheron, Michael E.; Porchas, Martin; Byrne, David N. (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2008-01)
      Powdery mildew, caused by the fungus Golovinomyces cichoracearum (formerly known as Erysiphe cichoracearum), can develop rapidly in spring lettuce during March and April in western Arizona, as the crop nears maturity, when moderate to warm temperatures and dry environmental conditions prevail. The first signs of disease can occur as early as December or January. Successful chemical control of powdery mildew requires the presence of an effective fungicide on plants before disease onset, followed by successive applications of materials to maintain disease control until harvest. A field trial was conducted in 2007 to test and compare the efficacy of some registered as well as new fungicides, applied alone or in a rotational treatment program, for management of powdery mildew. Foliar applications of treatments were made Jan 24, Feb 1, Feb 16 and Feb 28, 2007. Among treatments, the degree of powdery mildew control ranged from virtually complete to minimal; however, all treatments significantly reduced disease severity compared to untreated plants. Treatments that reduced the severity of powdery mildew more than 90% compared to untreated plants included Procure alternated with Quintec, Quintec, Microthiol Disperss, and Procure alternated with Microthiol Disperss. Yield loss due to rejected lettuce heads usually would begin to occur when the powdery mildew disease rating exceeds 2.0. Fungicide treatments that kept disease severity below this level (in addition to the treatments already listed) include V-10118, Procure alternated with Quadris, Procure, Switch, Forum + Cabrio, Endorse, Maneb + Reason, and Endura. This trial was initiated as a combined downy and powdery mildew trial; therefore, some of the products were placed in the test specifically for downy mildew. Due to low humidity levels and no rainfall during the trial, no downy mildew developed; however, some of these downy mildew fungicides, such as Forum, Maneb, and Reason, significantly suppressed powdery mildew. Phytotoxicity symptoms were not noted on lettuce for any of the materials tested.
    • Examination of Fungicides for Management of Powdery Mildew on Cantaloupe in 2007

      Matheron, Michael E.; Porchas, Martin; Byrne, David N. (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2008-01)
      Powdery mildew occurs annually on melons in Arizona. Podosphaera xanthii (Sphaerotheca fuliginea) is the plant pathogenic fungus that causes powdery mildew on cucurbits, such as cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, cucumber and squash. Development of powdery mildew on melons is favored by moderate temperatures and relative humidity, succulent plant growth and reduced light intensity brought about by a dense plant canopy. Existing products as well as materials under development were evaluated and compared for efficacy in management of powdery mildew on cantaloupe in a field trial conducted during the spring of 2007 at the University of Arizona, Yuma Valley Agricultural Center. A moderately-high level of disease had developed when disease severity data was recorded at crop maturity in mid-June. Among treatments, the degree of powdery mildew control ranged from essentially 0 to 100%. Materials that reduced the severity of disease on both the top and bottom of leaves by an average amount of at least 90% included Microthiol Disperss, Procure, Quintec, V-10118, Inspire Super, Endura, Cabrio, and Pristine, when applied on a 7-day spray interval. Other treatments that reduced powdery mildew by at least 80% compared to untreated plants included alternation between the conventional fungicide Procure and the biopesticides, Serenade Max, Sonata, or Actinovate as well as alternation among the two biopesticides Actinovate and Kaligreen. Alternating applications of products with different modes of action is imperative to minimize the development of insensitivity in the pathogen population to one or more of these active ingredients. Among the products evaluated this year, several are registered for use in Arizona for control of powdery mildew on melons.
    • Further evaluation of Soil Solarization as a Management Tool for Fusarium Wilt of Lettuce: 2006 Field Trial

      Matheron, Michael E.; Porchas, Martin; Byrne, David N. (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ), 2008-01)
      Fusarium wilt of lettuce was first recognized in Arizona in 2001. Since this initial discovery, the pathogen, Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. lactucae (Fol), has been recovered from infected lettuce plants from over 40 different fields. This fungus is a soil-borne pathogen that can remain viable in soil for many years. Soil solarization has shown promise in managing Fusarium wilt in other cropping systems as well as in lettuce field trials conducted during 2004 and 2005. In an effort to maximize the solarization effect on subsequent disease development, the following factors were evaluated in a 2006 field trial: 1) solarization of unshaped versus preshaped beds, 2) the effect of soil moisture on solarization efficiency of preshaped beds, and 3) effect of lettuce type on Fusarium wilt incidence after solarization. The entire field was flood irrigated on Jun 21. Plots were solarized during Jul and/or Aug by covering beds with 1-mil thick clear plastic. During the solarization treatment from Jul 3 to Sep 10, the mean soil temperature in preshaped solarized beds at a depth of 2 and 9 inches was 116 and 95°F, respectively, and 102 and 97°F, respectively, in beds not covered with plastic. When solarization was initiated 15 days after soil irrigation, a 20% reduction in Fusarium wilt was recorded for a crisphead lettuce cultivar grown on solarized unshaped beds compared to a 56% reduction in disease when the same crisphead cultivar was grown on preshaped solarized beds. There was no significant difference between a one and two month solarization period in the subsequent number of diseased lettuce plants. Solarization of preshaped beds 15 days after irrigation for one month reduced Fusarium wilt on crisphead lettuce by 56%, whereas the same solarization period initiated seven days after irrigation resulted in a 96% reduction of disease. The same one-month solarization period started one week after soil irrigation reduced the incidence of Fusarium wilt on green leaf (Two Star) and romaine (Green Towers) by 97 and 88%, respectively, compared to plants grown on unsolarized beds. The data show that summer solarization of moist soil can 1) destroy propagules of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lactucae in infested fields and 2) be a useful cultural management tool to significantly reduce the incidence of Fusarium wilt in a subsequent crop of lettuce.