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Evaluation of Control Methods against Phytophthora capsici in Winter Squash and Pumpkin 2006

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Project Leader: R. Hadad, Cornell Vegetable Program Specialist

Cooperators: J. Sharpless , Wayne Co. farmer; N. Harris , J. Hurtgam , Niagara Co. farmer; B. Henry , Erie Co. farmer

Abstract: Phytophthora capsici is a fungus that attacks a wide variety of vegetables, fruit, grain, and floral crops. Once the disease is in the soil, it may remain viable for ten years or more. The disease can totally wipe out a crop in wet years attacking the roots, crown, or fruit. This project was to examine if certain cultural practices or using the new chemical controls might reduce the incidence of the disease. The intent was to try using straw mulch thickly laid between rows to keep squash fruit off the ground, use raised beds to keep the roots drier, use short vining varieties, reduce compaction, and to try several of the newer chemical sprays rather than the older types. Inclement weather and miscommunication with farmers and field hands caused us to lose results from three trials. Two fields in the fourth trial showed positive results with cultural practices and using a new chemical spray.