Vegetable Disease Update – August 26, 2011

Bob Mulrooney, Extension Plant Pathologist;

With the impending hurricane we will probably see large amounts of rainfall. For vine crops fields with a history of Phytophthora fruit rot it will mean more Phytophthora fruit rot if any marketable watermelon or cantaloupe remain but it will really threaten the pumpkin crop. No fungicide will protect fruit from fruit rot if we get huge amounts of rainfall. Standing water in the fields will be the biggest indicator of possible fruit rot damage. There would be some benefit to protecting foliage with fungicides before the storm arrives if there is time and there is no history of Phytophthora fruit rot. This would be true for many vegetables including vine crops, tomatoes, and others. If there is no Phytophthora fruit rot present in a pumpkin field, fungicides such as Presidio, Ranman, Revus or Forum plus a fixed copper could be considered to suppress Phytophthora fruit rot, if Phytophthora spores moving in water from other fields should be introduced. Fruit have to be covered for the materials to have a hope of having an effect.

For other vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and other fruiting vegetables that may be planted for late harvest fungicide applications should be made before the rains arrive not after. Prevention is the key to control. If the label allows, adjuvants that help products adhere to the plants should be considered. Spreader-stickers would be encouraged if the crop and label warrant it.

In crops where cottony leak caused by Pythium could cause crop loss, such as snapbeans and lima beans, application of one of the phosphonate fungicides such as ProPhyt or Phostrol would be suggested at maximum rates, or Ridomil Gold/Copper on snapbeans only. There is a 24c label for Ridomil Gold/Copper (2.0 lbs/A) in DE, MD and VA for cottony leak on snapbeans. Lima bean growers will want to scout carefully once this storm clears out for downy mildew. Wet soil and cool temperatures will favor downy mildew infection.

Cucurbit downy mildew is present on pumpkin now in the sentinel plot in Newark in New Castle County. This is the first report of downy mildew on pumpkin. It has probably been there for several days. Growers should continue to apply fungicides for leaf diseases including downy mildew.


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