IPM grants help peach and strawberry growers thwart resistant crop diseases

In 2006 an Extension plant pathologist from Clemson won a $115,000 Regional IPM grant from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (then CSREES) to develop a kit that would help peach growers in Georgia and South Carolina choose an effective fungicide to fight resistant brown rot disease. That initial investment spurred at least three additional grants that refined the kit and has since benefited both the peach and strawberry industries at an estimate of $12 million.

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Southern Region Grant Helps Peach Growers Save $20 Million

In 2009, peach growers in Georgia and South Carolina discovered a strain of brown rot disease (Monilinia fructicola) that was resistant to the three fungicides typically used for the disease. For this new resistant strain, one of the three fungicides would work; however, growers had no way to tell which fungicide to use until it was too late.

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