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Optimization of Chemical Suppression of Alternaria dauci, the Causal Agent of Alternaria Leaf Blight in Carrots

November 2001 , Volume 85 , Number  11
Pages  1,149 - 1,156

E. Ben-Noon , D. Shtienberg , E. Shlevin , and H. Vintal , Department of Plant Pathology, ARO, the Volcani Center, PO 6, Bet Dagan, Israel ; and A. Dinoor , Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, 70600; Israel

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Accepted for publication 22 June 2001.

Alternaria leaf blight, caused by Alternaria dauci, is a major constraint to carrot production in Israel. Israeli carrot growers apply prophylactic sprays at 3- to 10-day intervals throughout the season until harvest, up to 30 sprays in a growing season. In this study, we attempted to optimize the chemical suppression of the disease, in order to reduce fungicide use. The efficacy of nine fungicides was determined in two field experiments. All fungicides reduced disease severity, but there were significant differences in efficacy among them. The most effective were difenoconazole and chlorothalonil; less effective were copper hydroxide, tebuconazole, trifloxystrobin, and mancozeb; the least effective in our experiments were flutrifol, propineb, and iprodione. The effect of the time of spray initiation on fungicide efficacy was determined in three field experiments. Qualitative (analysis of variance) and quantitative (regression) analyses of the data revealed that initiating sprays after disease onset reduced control efficacy. Thus, an action threshold model could not be developed for A. dauci in carrots. The time before harvest at which sprays could be terminated was tested in two field experiments and it was found that terminating sprays 14 days before harvest did not significantly affect the overall control efficacy. The main conclusions derived from these experiments were tested and corroborated in two additional field experiments.

Additional keywords: action threshold, integrated pest management, yield loss

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society