In-Season Product Efficacy Trials for Managing Diseases in Vegetable Crops Used by Conventional and Organic Growers to Manage Vegetable Pathogens
In Pennsylvania over 3,950 growers produce over 280,000 tons of fresh market and processing vegetable on over 49,000 acres. One significant barrier to production are pests and diseases. Integrated disease management focuses on preventative strategies; however, once disease symptoms are observed in the field or within the region, both conventional and organic growers often rely on the selection and application of in-season products for reducing disease development. Since 2008, the Penn State Vegetable Pathology Program has conducted thirty-five trials with a total of 365 treatments on nine different host-pathogen systems (e.g., late blight on tomato and downy mildew on cucumber, etc.). Results from these trials as well as others conducted in the mid-Atlantic region provide the foundation for fungicide recommendations in the mid-Atlantic/Pennsylvania Commercial Vegetable Recommendations. Annually, over 600 hard copies of this publication are sold statewide across Pennsylvania in addition to being available online (1,595 unique page views in 2014). In a recent 2013-2014 survey of stakeholders, 67 percent (n=547) indicated that they utilize this production guide to make management decisions. Results from these trials have also been disseminated in over 125 extension presentations and 100 vegetable disease alerts, updates, and Vegetable and Small Fruit Gazette newsletter articles, the latter of which received almost 12,000 page views in 2014-2015. Research and extension efforts to provide growers timely information for making disease management decisions is important for the success of the vegetable industry in Pennsylvania.