Comparison of Products to Manage Sclerotinia Drop of Lettuce in 2006
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AbstractSclerotinia drop on lettuce is caused by two soil-borne fungi, Sclerotinia minor and S. sclerotiorum. Moist soil and moderate temperatures favor this disease. 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 2005-2006. 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, a significant reduction in disease compared to untreated plots was achieved with Omega, Rovral, Endorse, Endura, and Switch. For plots containing S. sclerotiorum, disease was significantly reduced by Contans, Rovral, Omega and Endura. 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.