Good Fruit Grower

May 15

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 24 of 55 GOOD FRUIT GROWER MAY 15, 2014 25 "It appears that the susceptibility of cherry fruit is nothing like wine grapes, where fruit is susceptible around bloom but a month after bloom is no longer susceptible," he said. Season-long control Grove said that in cherries (like grapes), the casual organism survives the winter as chasmothecia, which become the disease bridge between growing seasons. "With cher- ries, you're managing disease epidemics on fruit and foliage. The problem is that after harvest, the mildew keeps increasing on the foliage." When spore populations become high enough on foliage, the disease can deplete tree nutrients, reduce photosynthesis, and, more importantly, set up the orchard for worse problems the following year. For example, if you took no control measures in 2010 because you had only a low incidence of disease, the overwintering chasmothecia will increase the disease potential the following year. "As the years go by, even with sprays, the disease can intensify and the epidemic will start earlier in the season. The potential for severe disease pressure just gets worse," Grove said. To demonstrate the importance of season-long control, Grove sprayed one half of a research orchard at Prosser with fungicides up to harvest, leaving the other half untreated. As expected, disease severity was initially higher in the untreated block, until after harvest. The last fungicide application was made at the end of June; harvest began in early July. But after harvest, things changed significantly in the trial. "Later in the season, the block treated before the harvest caught up to the nontreated in terms of disease severity," he said. "Spore concentrations in the treated block contin- ued to increase during July after spraying stopped. The problem is that once we put the sprayer away and quit treating the foliage, the disease can blow up and cause problems the following year." New approach Grove believes a new approach of controlling powdery mildew throughout the sea- son may be warranted. "The need to control disease on the foliage doesn't end when the fruit is harvested." But before he's ready to make recommendations, several questions need answer- ing. For example, how long does treatment need to be continued? Is it economically feasible? And, will season-long control eliminate future fungicide sprays? "A lot of work needs to be done if we are to develop a season-long program," Grove said, adding that he is leading research to evaluate its efficacy and impacts on resistance management and long-term disease reduction, and to do an economic analysis. The research is being funded by a Specialty Crop Research Initiative block grant from the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Strobilurin resistance Grove also gave an update on his resistance management research. Data from Wash- ington cherry orchards in 2012 that were inoculated in the laboratory with powdery mildew isolates and analyzed for resistance showed some resistance to the strobilurin class of fungicides. "Strobilurin resistance was not widespread in the state's orchards, but we did find a few orchards confined to the Mattawa area," he said. "It's evidence that as a class, strobilurin resistance is a concern." He also recommends growers avoid using DMI fungicides in their alternations, put- ting them on the shelf for several years. "Then you can bring them back out later and they will be effective." Grove shared his latest research results, funded by the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission and Oregon Sweet Cherry Commission, with growers attending the Cherry Institute meeting in Yakima, Washington. • To assist Dr. Grove in his research, cherry growers are encouraged to complete a survey on their mildew control field practices at "The need to control disease on the foliage doesn't end when the fruit is harvested." —Dr. Gary Grove

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Good Fruit Grower - May 15