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University of Kentucky resources help growers manage diseases sustainably

by Candace Pollock-Moore, Southern SARE

University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension, through a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) On-Farm Research Grant, has developed a series of outreach materials for small fruit producers to aid in disease management.

“Like many diseases of small fruit, they are best managed using cultural practices, such as sanitation. Thus, we developed outreach materials to assist fruit growers with virus and disease management,” said Nicole Ward Gauthier, University of Kentucky Extension plant pathologist.

The materials include the following fact sheets and production manuals:

  • Fruit, Orchard and Vineyard Sanitation – A fact sheet that discusses the effectiveness of a good sanitation program to help reduce the need for chemical controls.
  • Midwest Blueberry Production Guide – A new publication focusing on plant health and cultural practices.
  • Backyard fruit disease management using culture practices – A series of guides that covering low spray, no spray and organic options in apple peach, grape, brambles, strawberry and blueberry production. The four guides include:
    • Backyard Apple Disease Management Using Cultural Practices
    • Backyard Peach & Stone Fruit Management Using Cultural Practices
    • Backyard Berry Disease Management Using Cultural Practices
    • Backyard Grape Disease Management Using Cultural Practices
  • Commercial Fruit Pest Management Guide – An annual spray guide with new sections added on cultural practices and low-input options.

The resources, found here, are part of a larger University of Kentucky outreach effort, funded by the SSARE grant (OS13-076), “Elucidating the Spread and Transmissibility of Blueberry Mosaic Virus: A new disease of blueberry in the Southeastern U.S.” Outreach efforts also included Extension agent in-service trainings and producer workshops.

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