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Carrot Research Gets to the Root of a Pest Problem

photo of carrot tops growing in field
Carrot leaves afflicted by fungal leaf blights turn brown, dry out, and eventually drop. Photo: G. Abawi

Growers of New York’s annual 28-thousand-ton carrot crop typically apply fungicides multiple times a year to control fungal leaf blights. Recently researchers have demonstrated guidelines that tell growers whether or not their crop is in danger of disease. They’ve also demonstrated disease incidence thresholds that, when reached, may trigger the first treatment. Together, these methods could allow growers to cut fungicide applications by 50 to 100%. Scientists have also shown that carrot varieties differ greatly in their resistance to blight. "Carson" and "Bolero" are among those that were highly resistant.