UK researcher receives $1.25 million grant to study corn anthracnose

By Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

Anthracnose stalk rot is a fungal disease of corn that can cause lodging and completely destroy a crop. It is ranked among the top three diseases that cause yield losses in corn each year. Lisa Vaillancourt, a University of Kentucky plant pathologist, has studied this disease for several years and is working toward a management solution.

Recently, Vaillancourt received a $1.25 million grant from the Plant Biotic Interactions Program, a joint venture between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation. The goal of the grant is to further examine an anthracnose mutant produced in her lab that is unable to cause the stalk rot disease in corn plants. Continue reading

Use advisory tool and links to guide strawberry disease management decisions

by Frank Louws, Center for IPM

All this wet weather will favor the main strawberry fruit rot diseases including Botrytis Fruit Rot (BFR) and Anthracnose Fruit Rot (AFR). BFR will be the main concern for most growers. We have not consistently identified plant sources with the AFR pathogen. Hopefully, AFR pressure will be low this year for most growers. Some strawberry fields have problems with angular leaf spot, caused by the bacteria Xanthomonas fragariae.

The Strawberry Fruit Infection Risk advisory tool shows HIGH risk for both BFR and AFR (see figure). Details of how to use this Advisory Tool are provided at https://ipm.ces.ncsu.edu/strawberry-fruit-infection-risk-tool/ or users can go directly to the map at: http://agroclimatenc.ncsu.edu/plantdisease/strawberry.aspx. Continue reading

Researchers in Georgia and Florida testing new disease monitor for strawberries

In Georgia FACES

by Sharon Dowdy, University of Georgia

University of Georgia and University of Florida (UF) researchers are using weather monitors to combat diseases in strawberry fields.

The researchers are testing the Strawberry Advisory System (SAS) in Georgia strawberry fields. SAS, an app created, in part, by UF plant pathologist Natalia Peres, uses temperature and leaf moisture monitors to recommend when farmers should spray for Botrytis and anthracnose, two fungi that cause fruit rot on strawberries. Continue reading

Sorghum farmers concerned about anthracnose

From Southeast Farm Press

The disease of real concern to North Carolina sorghum growers is anthracnose, which has appeared every year in the state since North Carolina State University started working with the crop, according to Dr. Randy Weisz, North Carolina Extension small grains specialist.

Anthracnose is a fungal disease that is common in sorghum in this wet and humid region, Weisz said. Weisz notes that preliminary research shows that yield loss in sorghum due to anthracnose can be as high as 15 to 30 bushels per acre. NC State is conducting fungicide studies to control the disease.

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Study: Strawberry Web Tool Could Save $1.7 Million Over 10 Years In Fungicide Use

From Growing Produce

A University of Florida-developed web tool can bring growers $1.7 million more in net profits over 10 years than a calendar-based fungicide system because it guides growers to spray their crop at optimal times, a new UF study shows.

The Strawberry Advisory System, devised by a UF/IFAS researcher, takes data such as temperature and leaf wetness and tells growers when to spray fungicide to ward off diseases. Growers can use the system by logging onto Agroclimate.org/tools/strawberry or use the website to sign up for email or text alerts.

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Frequent rain making disease control difficult in Georgia crops

In Southeast Farm Press

By Robert C. Kemerait, UGA Cooperative Extension

Rain may be a good thing, but too much can become a problem for Georgia growers when it comes to disease control.

The torrential rains Georgia has experienced in recent weeks have created perfect conditions for fungal and bacterial diseases on peanuts, cotton, corn and soybeans.

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Fungi Collection Key in Identifying Diseases

By Sharon Durham

In ARS News

A collection of fungi maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) played a crucial role in helping scientists identify the specific fungus causing an anthracnose disease discovered in a southern turf grass, and another fungus destroying trees of edible fruits in Honduras.

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