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Fungicides do not reduce fruit rot following a simulated hail event.
L. WELLS (1), P. McManus (1). (1) University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, U.S.A.

Hail storms are a common occurrence in Wisconsin, with a few or many cranberry growers being affected every year. Growers usually apply fungicides immediately following hail storms to prevent fruit rot, despite the lack of research to support this practice. We conducted field trials in 2010 and 2011 to address the question of whether fungicide applications following a hail storm reduce fruit rot incidence (% rotten fruit), and if so, which fungicides are most effective. Hail damage was simulated by shooting pea gravel into cranberry beds, and the fungicides Abound (azoxystrobin) or Champion II (copper) were applied to fruit immediately following this damage. Fruit rot incidence was evaluated in late September and early October. The simulated hail damage increased fruit rot incidence (p≤ 0.05) compared with the non-damaged control in six of seven trials. Fungicides did not reduce fruit rot incidence (p≥ 0.05) in hail-treated plots compared to the non-treated control in six of seven trials. In a trial conducted on relatively immature berries, fruit rot incidence in hail-damaged plots treated with Abound was less (p≤ 0.05) than fruit rot incidence in hail-damaged plots treated with Champion II or no fungicide. Results suggest that if cranberries are damaged by hail, it is unlikely that an application of fungicide will reduce the amount of fruit rot at the time of harvest.<p><p>Keywords: Fungus, Fruits-Nuts

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