J. E. Woodward, Extension Plant Pathologist, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Lubbock, TX 79403-6603 and Associate Professor, Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University, Lubbock 79409-2122; and
T. B. Brenneman, Professor, Department of Plant Pathology, and
B. G. Mullinix, Jr., Research Statistician (Retired), Experimental Statistics Unit, The University of Georgia, Coastal Plain Experiment Station, Tifton 31793-0748
Fungicides not reaching target organisms result in decreased disease control. In the southeastern United States, foliar-applied fungicides are routinely used to manage peanut (Arachis hypogaea) diseases. Irrigation is often applied to wash fungicides from treated foliage to obtain maximum control of diseases caused by soilborne pathogens. Administering irrigation before fungicide residues have dried may adversely impact foliar disease control. A microplot study was conducted in 2003, 2004, and 2005 to evaluate the redistribution of azoxystrobin, tebuconazole, and flutolanil plus chlorothalonil following different irrigation timings. Standard fungicide regimes were subjected to 1.3-cm of irrigation 0, 6, 12, 24, 48, or 96 h after application, and a nonirrigated control was included. Microplots not receiving irrigation were covered while irrigation treatments were administered. Irrigation timing was significant for the number of early leaf spot (Cercospora arachidicola) lesions per leaf. Leaf spot was more severe when irrigation was administered immediately following fungicide applications, and was significantly reduced with a 6- and 12-h delay prior to an irrigation event, whereas maximum control was obtained when irrigation was delayed for 24 h or later. To further quantify fungicide residue distribution, Sclerotium rolfsii was used to bioassay foliage and pods. Lesion development on leaflets, which was greater for earlier irrigation timings, did not differ for the 12-h and later timings and was generally similar to the nonirrigated controls. Pod colonization for all fungicides increased according to a quadratic function of irrigation timing, with the least colonization occurring at the 0-h timing. Colonization of pods treated with azoxystrobin was similar for all irrigation timings; whereas, suppression was greatest for tebuconazole at earlier irrigation timings. This study demonstrates that irrigation can be used to redistribute fungicides applied to peanut foliage to improve control of soilborne pathogens but administering irrigation within 24 h may decrease leaf spot control.