University of Florida, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, 13138 Lewis Gallagher Road, Dover 33527
The management of Botrytis fruit rot on annual strawberry by fungicides was evaluated in Florida during the 1995-96, 1996-97, and 1997-98 seasons. Weekly applications of captan or thiram, bloom applications of iprodione applied twice during each of two peak flowering periods, and weekly applications of captan combined with iprodione bloom applications were evaluated. Significant treatment effects (P ≤ 0.05) on the incidence of Botrytis fruit rot were detected for the early, late, and whole-season periods each season. Weekly applications of captan or thiram controlled Botrytis fruit rot, reducing disease incidence by more than 41% compared to the untreated control. These treatments also affected marketable yield during two seasons, with a 42 to 127% increase in yield compared to the control. Weekly fungicide applications did not reduce the incidence of Botrytis fruit rot until at least the fourth week of harvest, 9 to 10 weeks after applications began. Bloom applications of iprodione alone reduced the incidence of Botrytis fruit rot during the second peak bloom period, and the reductions in incidence occurred 1 to 3 weeks after the start of bloom applications. This suggests that iprodione applications control infections at flowering or early stages of fruit development. However, early-season bloom applications did not reduce the incidence of Botrytis fruit rot. The control of Botrytis fruit rot by weekly captan applications was not improved by the addition of iprodione bloom applications. These data suggest that early-season fungicide applications for the control of Botrytis fruit rot in annual winter strawberry are of limited efficacy, and that bloom applications of Botryticides such as iprodione should be focused on the second peak bloom period.