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Catch my drift? Inoculum detection as a decision aid for agricultural systems

Lindsey Thiessen: North Carolina State University

<div>Regional spread of diseases has been traditionally monitored by and communicated between growers, and continues to be monitored by extension specialists, crop consultants, and through formal, nationwide scouting programs. As technology continues to improve and become accessible, so too does our ability to sample for and detect airborne pathogens. Airborne inoculum sampling is now being commercially used to initiate and time fungicide applications in grape powdery mildew management in the Western United States, and similar methods have been developed for diseases in other crops. In addition to using inoculum detection for fungicide applications, inoculum sampling methods can be used to develop more accurate epidemiological models, to rapidly sample for pesticide-resistant pathogen populations, or assess mycotoxin production potential of airborne inoculum. These tools are shifting crop management to targeted approaches that improve disease management and reduce costs to producers.</div>

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