Destructive peach disease Armillaria root rot targeted by Clemson researchers

In Southeast Farm Press

Armillaria root rot, commonly known as “oak root rot,” is a soil-borne disease that is estimated to cause more than $4 million in annual peach losses (in each commercial peach-producing state) and millions more dollars in control costs, including loss of available orchard land.

Clemson University has received a $150,000 grant from Wells Fargo to support research aimed at preventing Armillaria root rot, which can cause the destruction of peach crops throughout the Southeast. Continue reading

New app helps strawberry and peach growers manage diseases

Strawberry growers have a direct line to help for and information about diseases with the new MyIPM app, developed by researchers at Clemson University.

The idea for the app grew out of a previous series of USDA-NIFA Southern Regional IPM grant- funded projects that provided peach and strawberry growers with monitoring tools for fungicide-resistant plant pathogens. The online tool for strawberries gave growers alternatives for managing fungicide-resistant Botrytis. Subsequent surveys showed that the program saved growers about 10 percent of their yield. Continue reading

Clemson researchers find new planting method to ward off peach disease

South Carolina peach growers could extend the life of trees infected with Armillaria root disease by using a new planting technique on display at Clemson University’s Musser Fruit Research Center.

By planting trees in shallow engineered berms with the top parts of the roots exposed above ground, growers can prevent the devastating fungus commonly known as “oak root rot” from progressing, said Clemson plant pathologist Guido Schnabel. The fungus can’t live above the soil line because it doesn’t tolerate extreme temperatures.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Smartphone app for disease management available for strawberry growers

When it comes to dealing with strawberry diseases, there’s now an app for that. A Clemson fruit specialist and a computer software designer have teamed up to develop a smartphone tool to help strawberry growers. The app will be unveiled at the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference that is Thursday-Sunday in Savannah.

MyIPM is the first smartphone app that provides critical disease information for strawberry growers.

Continue reading