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Early Blight Control in Potato Using Disease-Orientated Threshold Values

January 2012 , Volume 96 , Number  1
Pages  124 - 130

J. H. Leiminger and H. Hausladen, Lehrstuhl für Phytopathologie, Technische Universität München, 85350 Freising-Weihenstephan, Germany

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Accepted for publication 26 August 2011.

Epidemics of early blight caused by Alternaria spp. can cause significant economic damage to potato production if not adequately controlled. In order to improve control of Alternaria spp. in potato, studies were conducted to identify the optimal fungicide strategy and, if possible, to reduce the number of fungicide applications per growing season. Therefore, a disease-threshold-based framework was tested to define the optimal timing of fungicide application. The initiation and subsequent applications of fungicides were based on increases in disease incidence or severity. Adequate disease control was achieved by a three-time application with azoxystrobin, given that the applications were carried out at pivotal times in the epidemic. Targeted applications of fungicides reduced the number of sprayings required to protect starch yield. Results indicate that early blight can be effectively managed by using fungicide application thresholds based on disease progress.

© 2012 The American Phytopathological Society