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Integrated Management of Potato and Tomato Late Blight in New York State 1998

Project Leaders: Abby Seaman, John Mishanec

Objectives:

1. Reduce the amount of overwintering inoculum from fields and cull piles.

2. Educate potato and tomato growers about late blight management.

3. Alert growers as to the proper time to begin protective fungicide sprays and provide information to help determine appropriate spray intervals based on weather favorability and inoculum levels.

4. Quickly alert the industry if late blight is detected in New York or surrounding states.

5. Evaluate the effectiveness of the communication network and the usefulness of recommendations on sanitation and spray schedules.

Results:

Heavy rains in June and July created optimal conditions for late blight in many parts of the state and prevented timely fungicide applications in some fields. The interval between reaching 18 severity values and first finding late blight was shorter than would be expected when using late blight forecasting if inoculum originated in seed potatoes. Late blight problems at harvest were minimal.

Five Extension cooperators completed surveys intended to determine the impact of reduced funding on their late blight management efforts. Despite the lack of funding for cull pile scouting, three of the five respondents said they scouted cull piles as often as was needed in 1998. Four of the five respondents said that the forecasting resources provided by the late blight network funding (NEWA membership) met their forecasting needs. (The NEWA doesn’t operate in the area in which the fifth respondent works.) Three of the respondents felt that the late blight listserv was useful; one felt it was essential.