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A Quantitative Synthesis of the Efficacy and Profitability of Conventional and Biological Fungicides for Botrytis Fruit Rot Management on Strawberry

Leandro Cordova: University of Florida

<div>Botrytis fruit rot (BFR) is a major disease that affects strawberry production in Florida and worldwide. BFR management relies on frequent fungicide applications. A meta-analysis was conducted on the outcome from nine field trials to evaluate the efficacy and profitability of conventional and biological fungicides compared to a non-treated control (NTC). All trials were conducted in Florida between the 2005/06 and 2016/17 growing seasons. Fungicide treatments were applied weekly and plots were harvested twice a week for yield and BFR incidence quantification. Treatments were grouped into five categories: NTC, multi-site only (thiram), standard (captan alternate with fludioxonil + cyprodinil), <em>Bacillus</em>, and ‘others’ (miscellaneous biologicals). Following primary analyses, a random effects network meta-analytical model was fitted to estimate the mean yield response of each treatment group and to compare groups in kg/ha/week. Thiram and the standard treatment provided an increment in yield of 195.8 and 242.3 kg/ha/week, respectively, compared to the NTC. The estimated yield difference between <em>Bacillus</em> and NTC, and ‘others’ and NTC were not significantly different from zero, suggesting that weekly applications of these products did not provide a yield benefit. The results of this analysis provide growers information that aids their decision-making process regarding BFR management.</div>