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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

Champlain Valley Fruit Set Thinning Meeting

May 28, 2024 : Champlain Valley Fruit Set Thinning Meeting

Mike will review his observations from the field, and we will then hear from Dr. Robinson about his thinning suggestions for the 10-12mm thinning window. We will then hear from Dr. Anna Wallis, Dr. Andres Antolinez, and Dr. Scott Cosseboom for pest management updates.  

To join, simply click on the zoom link at 3PM on Tuesday: https://cornell.zoom.us/j/93411218328?pwd=RUpFNlY3Nm5nS0tkUjdDWEU0cklCdz09

View Champlain Valley Fruit Set Thinning Meeting Details

June Produce Field Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

June 5, 2024 : June Produce Field Meeting
Fort Plain, NY

Come join us for a discussion on greenhouse production, IPM techniques in the greenhouse, and a discussion of IPM strategies for tomatoes, cole crops and cucurbits. 

Meeting is free and open to the public.

2 DEC credits in categories 1A and 23 are available. 

View June Produce Field Meeting Details

Weed Management in Perennial Fruit Crops - Field Workshop

Event Offers DEC Credits

June 20, 2024 : Weed Management in Perennial Fruit Crops - Field Workshop
Tivoli, NY

Join us on the morning of June 20th as we hear from Cornell University weed management specialists Dr. Lynn Sosnoskie and Dr. Yu Jiang, who will discuss their recent research on autonomous orchard weeding systems.  

We will also hear from Mike Basedow of CCE ENYCH and learn about the ongoing results of herbicide research trials he is conducting.  Bryan Brown of NYS IPM will discuss pre-plant preparations and mulches that could be useful for controlling weeds without herbicides.   

Identifying the differences between weed species and key differences between annuals and perennials that factor into management will also be covered.     

This workshop is FREE to attend, but we ask that you please register ahead 

View Weed Management in Perennial Fruit Crops - Field Workshop Details

Announcements

2023 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 2023 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 Grower Interviews in Northern New York

October 22, 2022
In this episode, vegetable specialist Elisabeth Hodgdon interviews Lindsey Pashow, ag business development and marketing specialist with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Harvest New York team. They discuss findings from a series of interviews with winter greens producers in northern New York. Lindsey shares production and marketing challenges associated with growing winter greens in this cold and rural part of the state, success stories and advice from growers, and tips for those interested in adding new crop enterprises to their operation.

Funding for this project was provided by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program. The episode was edited by Miles Todaro of the ENYCHP team.

Resources:
• Crop enterprise budget resources available from Penn State Extension (field and tunnel vegetables: https://extension.psu.edu/small-scale-field-grown-and-season-extension-budgets), UMass Extension (winter spinach budgets: https://ag.umass.edu/vegetable/outreach-project/improving-production-yield-of-winter-greens-in-northeast and field vegetables: https://ag.umass.edu/vegetable/fact-sheets/crop-production-budgets), and Cornell Cooperative Extension (high tunnel vegetables: https://blogs.cornell.edu/hightunnels/economics/sample-budgets-spreadsheets/). Use these budgets as templates when developing your own crop enterprise budget.
• The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook, by Richard Wiswall
• The Winter Harvest Handbook, by Eliot Coleman

For questions about the winter greens project discussed in this podcast, reach out to Lindsey Pashow (lep67@cornell.edu) or Elisabeth Hodgdon(eh528@cornell.edu).

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