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Managing Basil Downy Mildew

Teresa Rusinek, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

May 2, 2018

There are already concerns from growers about downy mildew and with good reason; this disease is difficult to control and destructive. Basil downy mildew can be seed borne but does not persist long in the environment when the host plant is not present. It does not overwinter in the field, but can persist in a greenhouse if basil is grown continuously.  Once basil is in the field is may be infected by wind- blown spores from other areas.

There are options to limit your risk.  In the greenhouse, avoid favorable conditions for disease development. The basil downy mildew pathogen needs humidity of at least 85% in the plant canopy to be able to infect.  This disease can be controlled effectively by keeping humidity low.  Practices to achieve this include base watering, wide plant spacing, circulating fans, lights, and increasing temperature.  Base heating is an especially effective method to reduce humidity.  Set up sensors in the plant canopy to monitor humidity to ensure implementing practices are sufficient. 

One of the most effective management strategies is planting a downy mildew resistant variety, and the good news is that there are more of these varieties available to growers.  Below is an update from Margaret McGrath.

New Downy Mildew Resistant Basil Varieties: Devotion, Obsession, and Thunderstruck are the first varieties developed at Rutgers University through a USDA‐funded project that included evaluations at LIHREC, which documented high level of resistance in preceding experimental lines. Reports are posted at http://blogs.cornell.edu/liveg... These varieties are available from VanDrunen Specialty Seeds. Amazel is another new variety reported to be highly resistant. Emma and Everleaf (aka Basil Pesto Party and M4828Z when evaluated at LIHREC) have moderate resistance. Everleaf exhibited better suppression than Eleonora, the first commercially‐available resistant basil, when evaluated at LIHREC. To achieve acceptable control, all resistant varieties need to be used with other management practices, in particular fungicides, due to very low tolerance for symptoms in herbs especially when used fresh.

Long Island Fruit & Vegetable Update; No.4; April 26, 2018

Photo: Yellowing of the upper surface of affected basil leaves often occurs in sections of the leaf delineated by veins  because the downy mildew pathogen cannot grow past major veins in leaves. Photo: Margaret McGrath    

Yellowish

 

 

 




Photo: Purplish gray spores of the downy mildew pathogen only develop on the lower surface of leaves.  Photo: Margaret McGrath 


This article is from the May 3, 2018 edition of ENYCHP Vegetable News.  To read the full newsletter,CLICK HERE.



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Upcoming Events

Berry Production Twilight Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 8, 2021
Peru, NY

Rulf's Orchard, 531 Bear Swamp Road, Peru, NY 

Many berry topics will be discussed including growing Juneberries (Amelanchier, not strawberries), using entomopathogenic nematodes to control strawberry root pests, low tunnel production in June bearing strawberries, SWD monitoring and management. 2.5 DEC pesticide recertification credits available in categories 1A, 10, 22, and 23. Contact Elisabeth Hodgdon (eh528@cornell.edu or 518-650-5323) or Laura McDermott (lgm4@cornell.edu or 518-746-2562) with questions.

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Announcements

U-Pick Farm Practices During Covid-19 Pandemic

U-Pick is a critical direct marketing approach for many of our farms and provides
customers with a unique connection to fresh produce grown close to home. In light
of what we understand about the spread of COVID-19, new management practices
will be needed to protect your farm team and your customers. This document
provides recommended practices and communication strategies for U-Pick
operations for the 2020 season.

https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/uploads/doc_864.pdf

Growers-are you running low on fall pumpkins, etc?

The Produce Auctions located around the state may have what you need.  Check out all of the opportunities here: https://harvestny.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=4

Resources from CCE ENYCHP!

We are developing new ways to connect with the CCE ENYCHP team this year! We have a Youtube page located at this link. Check out videos on Table Grape Production, Pest Updates and the 20 Minute Ag Manager - in 4 Minutes series

We have a Facebook Page here as well as an Instagram page. We keep these places updated with current projects, events, and other interesting articles and deadlines.

There are also text alerts available. Fruit and vegetable farmers in 17 Eastern NY counties can now receive real time alerts on high risk disease and pest outbreaks texted directly to their cell phone. The Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture program, which is supported by local Cornell Cooperative Extension associations, will now offer text alerts to those that enroll in our program in 2019. 

The text alerts will be reserved for important crop alerts that could impact management decisions immediately. For instance, if there were an outbreak of Late Blight in the area, this would be transmitted to vegetable growers.

Farmers can choose the crop for which they wish to receive updates. Additionally they can request that Ag Business Alerts be sent to them. These alerts might include due dates for crop insurance deadlines, market opportunities etc.

If you have questions, please contact enychp@cornell.edu


Podcasts

“Understanding Fungicide Resistance and How to Avoid It” with Dr. Margaret McGrath

June 16, 2021
ENYCHP Veg News Farm and Field Updates with Teresa Rusinek
“Understanding Fungicide Resistance and How to Avoid It” with Dr. Margaret McGrath of Cornell University
In this this podcast ENYCHP vegetable specialist Teresa Rusinek interviews Dr. Margaret McGrath, of Cornell University School of Integrative Plant Science, to discuss the development of fungicide resistance in plant pathogens and steps growers can take to avoid it.
Resources:
https://www.vegetables.cornell.edu/pest-management/disease-factsheets/general-guidelines-for-managing-fungicide-resistance/
Vegetable Pathology – Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center (cornell.edu)
The Cucurbit Downy Mildew Forecast Homepage
https://cdm.ipmpipe.org/

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read transcript

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