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Start managing for bacterial diseases in field tomatoes at transplanting

Crystal Stewart-Courtens, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

May 9, 2018

Bacterial speck, spot, and canker continue to be perennial problems in Eastern NY. We are learning that effective management is a season-long effort, starting with proper greenhouse sanitation and continuing with regular plant protection. The good news is that there are more tools available for disease management than once thought; the bad news is management is more intensive than we'd like.

Image 1

Source: Dr. Christine Smart

Image 2

Source: Dr. Christine Smart

 

Start with clean stakes

 

This is a best practice because of other tomato diseases too, so hopefully you are already cleaning your tomato stakes. Every year wooden and metal stakes should be power-washed to remove excess soil, then sterilized using either bleach, Green-Shield,  Xero-Tol, or an equivalent product. It is important for the stakes to sit in a sterilizing solution long enough to penetrate the nooks and crannies of the wood and kill any lurking bacteria or fungal structures. Remember that bleach will damage metal stakes if not rinsed off.

 

Protect plants starting early

Bacterial diseases are most effectively controlled by preventing their infection. It's not always clear where inoculum comes from, but we know that growers who have struggled with bacterial diseases in the past are having some success with starting a protective spray program shortly after transplanting. The traditional spray for both organic and conventional growers has been copper; however, there is concern about applying the amount of copper per season that would be needed to provide continuous control. Dr. Christine Smart has been doing trialing of alternatives to copper for bacterial canker and bacterial speck, and has found that there are products equally effective to copper available on the market.

                   2017 Bacterial Speck Trial Results: Dr. Smart

    *Products with the same letter are not significantly different

Treatment and Rate/A

Active Ingredient

   Mean AUDPC

(disease over time)

Unsprayed control

234.8 a

Regalia EC 4 qt

Reynoutria sachalinensis extract

174.5  b

Double Nickel LC 32 fl oz

Bacillus amyloliquefaciens

166.3 b

Actinovate AG 12 oz

Streptomyces lydicus

 161.3 b

LifeGard WG 4.5oz/100 gal

Bacillus mycoides

153.8 b

Actinovate AG+Regalia EC

150.0 b

Champ 30 WG  2.0 lb

Copper hydroxide

145.0 b

 

              2017 Bacterial Canker Trial: Dr. Smart

                           # of fruit without lesions

*Products with different letters are significantly different

It's important to protect leaves because fruit quality will decrease as the plant weakens and is defoliated. However, fruit quality is downgraded by just one lesion. According to Dr. Smart, bacterial infection of fruit occurs before it reaches ping-pong size. Keeping fruit protected prior to this point will effectively result in lesion-free fruit. This knowledge may adjust timing of sprays.

Because copper and other products such as Actigard have, on average across bacterial diseases, equal efficacy, alternating between them could help with resistance management and will reduce copper loading the in soil. All of these products wash off in rains, so protecting weekly or between rain events is recommended for best results with field tomatoes.

One quick note—you will notice that none of the products listed are antibiotics. There are no antibiotics listed for vegetable production—products listed are either broad spectrum biocides, such as copper, stimulate plant immunity, such as Regalia and LifeGard, or competitively colonize the leaf and suppress other bacteria, such as the Bacillus products.



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Upcoming Events

Agricultural Supervisory Leadership Certificate Program

June 17, 2022
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Supervisors are critical to the success of farm businesses. They have a major impact both on employees' daily work experiences and on the production performance of the business. The  agricultural Supervisory Leadership certificate helps farm supervisors and managers learn and apply human resource management practices and leadership skills that foster rewarding workplaces and drive business results. Confident managers who thoughtfully apply leadership and management skills improve employee performance, develop teams, reduce employee turnover, and increase employee engagement. The courses within the certificate program will offer extensive practice and engagement activities to build confidence and skill sets.

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Peru Weed Management and Soil Health Field Day

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 20, 2022
Peru, NY

Join us in Peru on July 20th as we discuss orchard weed and soil management! Speakers will be joining us from across Cornell's research and extension teams.  Topics will include the results of our herbicide timing trials, new vision-guided technologies for orchard weed spraying, organic weed management options, soil health demonstrations, and a discussion on our statewide orchard soil health survey. DEC credits are pending for this event.  

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July Next Gen Meetup at Bowman Orchards

July 21, 2022
Rexford, NY

The July Next-Gen meet-up is focused on marketing. We will provide everyone who registers with a resource guide to farm stand marketing. The Bowman's have a farm store, U-Pick berries, sunflowers, apples and pumpkins as well as a commercial apple orchard. We encourage you to check out their website (Bowman Orchards).

Young farmers are welcome to attend, the focus of the program is farmers who are in the process of taking over a farm from the prior generation (whether family or not). Please pre-register by July 18  so that we know you are coming and can have enough food for dinner and resource materials.

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2022 Spotted Wing Drosophila Monitoring/Management

All berry farmers are watching for monitoring reports that indicate Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) adults are in their region. Mid-season berry crops should be sprayed as soon as berries begin to ripen unless you've elected to use insect exclusion netting.

- For general information about SWD, and to enroll for free monitoring reports, visit the Cornell SWD blog https://blogs.cornell.edu/swd1/.
- Click here for the 2022 Quick Guide for Pesticide Management.
- For some great instructional videos and fact sheets on insect exclusion netting, visit the University of Vermont's Ag Engineering blog.


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

Winter Greens Research Review

March 23, 2022
Winter Greens Research Review
March 17, 2022

Episode description:
In this episode, vegetable specialists Ethan Grundberg, Elisabeth Hodgdon, Jud Reid, and grower Leon Vehaba discuss winter greens production in Eastern New York. They highlight research results from the past five years that aimed to develop nitrogen fertility and heating recommendations for winter high tunnel greens production. Leon discusses his lessons learned from his experience at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project and how he made changes to his greens production as a result.

Funding and support for the research trials discussed were provided by:
Organic nitrogen fertility management in winter spinach (Willsboro Farm and Pleasant Valley Farm trials): New York Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, Northern NY Agricultural Development Program, Toward Sustainability Foundation, Paul and Sandy Arnold of Pleasant Valley Farm, Mike Davis of the Cornell Willsboro Research Farm, and Amy Ivy and Andy Galimberti of the CCE ENYCHP.

Nitrogen dynamics and yield response to minimal supplemental heating in high tunnel winter production: Northeast SARE Partnership grant and the Poughkeepsie Farm Project.

Resources:
Ethan and Leon’s report from their trials at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project:
‘Nitrogen dynamics and yield response to minimal supplemental heating in high tunnel winter production’ SARE grant final report: https://projects.sare.org/project-reports/one17-298/

Elisabeth and Jud’s results from their trials at the Willsboro Research Farm and Pleasant Valley Farm:
Willsboro Research Farm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m94bE5DV5SI&t=10s
Pleasant Valley Farm (research results and overview of winter greens production on the farm): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLK6jnc0YzA&t=12s

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