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Development and Demonstration of an IPM Protocol for Fresh-Market Tomatoes 1998

Project Leader: Abby Seaman

Objectives:

1. Develop a set of IPM Elements for fresh-market tomatoes and a set of criteria for shifting form TOMCAST to late blight forecasting.

2. Set up side-by-side demonstrations at five locations comparing grower practices with the Cornell IPM protocols and evaluate late blight forecasting for tomatoes.

3. Identify needed improvements in the IPM procedures or late blight forecast to incorporate in future versions.

4. Evaluate tomato quality at harvest, number of insecticide and fungicide sprays, environmental impact, and cost of adopting IPM practices compared with the grower’s current practice.

Results:

Tomato IPM demonstrations were conducted at three locations in 1998. The main focus of the demonstrations has been the use of the TOMCAST disease-forecasting program, which was first demonstrated in New York in 1996. TOMCAST provides information to schedule fungicide applications to control early blight, Septoria leaf spot, and anthracnose. Thresholds for Colorado potato beetle and aphids were also demonstrated, as well as management strategies for fungal and bacterial diseases not managed using TOMCAST. Fruit quality at harvest was as good in the IPM areas as in the grower-managed areas at two of the three locations. The lower quality of fruit in the IPM area at one site was despite the fact that the IPM area received three more fungicide applications than the grower area. The presence of either late blight or bacterial canker, which are not among the diseases managed using TOMCAST, required a shift from a TOMCAST-dictated to a calendar fungicide schedule at all three locations in early July.