BASIL DOWNY MILDEW: PRESENT AND FUTURE PROSPECTS FOR CONTROL
Basil downy mildew, caused by the fungus Peronospora belbahrii, was first reported in the U.S. during 2007. During later stages of the disease, leaves turn brown and necrotic, rendering the crop unmarketable. The disease may also progress following harvest, causing massive losses after shipment. All sweet basil types are highly susceptible to the downy mildew, although a few of the specialty basils, such as cinnamon basil and spice basil have shown some resistance. A very aggressive disease, sweet basil growers must use a very intensive spray program to keep the disease from reaching economic levels. These experiments were conducted to investigate fungicidal efficacy and to improve prospects for control.
Multiple fungicide trials were conducted over three years to investigate the management of basil downy mildew. A number of soil treatments have shown promising results slowing the onset of the disease and many efficacious compounds are capable of preventing new diseases.
A comparison of compounds used as a seedling drench indicated significant differences in mildew efficacy. Presidio, Quadris, and Ridomil provided significantly longer control than the phosphites ProPhyt and Aliette, and the SAR compounds Regalia and Vacciplant, with Ridomil providing superior control at both the 8 and 16 fl oz rates. In order of effectiveness, in the absence of a seedling drench, Ridomil, Revus, Reason, and Zampro provided for reductions in DM incidence, followed by Ranman, Forum, Quadris, Presidio, and ProPhyt, which were aided by a Ridomil drench.
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Authors: Gene McAvoy, Christian Miller, R.N. Raid
McAvoy, G. County Extension Director/Regional Vegetable Extension Agent IV, UF/IFAS Hendry County Extension, Florida, 33975
Miller, C. Vegetable Extension Agent I, UF/ IFAS, Palm Beach County Extension, Florida, 33415
Raid, R. Professor, UF/IFAS, Everglades Research & Education Center, Florida, 33430