Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier 93648
Panicle and shoot blight, caused by a Fusicoccum sp., is an economically important disease of pistachio in California. Between 1999 and 2001, the disease severity was monitored throughout the growing season in 10 pistachio orchards, irrigated with drip, microsprinklers, low-angled (12°) sprinklers, or flood. The effect of temperature, precipitation pattern, irrigation system, and incidence of Fusicoccum sp. latent infection on panicle and shoot blight severity was quantified with a generalized linear model for repeated measures. The number of continuous rainy days in April and May and the cumulative daily mean temperatures from June to early September had a significant positive effect on panicle and shoot blight of pistachio leaves and fruit. Drip irrigation significantly decreased disease risk. Other factors, such as the number of discontinuous rainy days in April and May, the cumulative deviation from the 30-year average temperature during the dry days of April and May, the incidence of latent infection (only on leaves), and irrigation with microsprinklers or lowangled (12°) sprinklers were weak explanatory variables of panicle and shoot blight severity. Knowledge of panicle and shoot blight risk may contribute significantly to decisions regarding the appropriate application of fungicides, especially in years or fields of low risk.