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White Rot Update

Crystal Stewart, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

June 22, 2016

Earlier in June I sent a garlic sample to the diagnostic lab hoping that I was wrong. The sample was covered in small black sclerotia, the size of poppy seeds, and white fungal hyphae crept up the stem. The results, unfortunately, matched the field diagnosis: White Rot. Within a couple days additional calls came from up and down the Hudson Valley as well as one in Western NY with similar suspicions. These samples have also gone to the lab for verification, but it looks like the latest pest to move back into the state is this nasty fungus.

White Rot, Sclerotinia cepivorum, decimated the onion industry in New York in the 1930's before being eradicated through careful management. More recently, in 2003, it infected 10,000 acres of garlic in California, leading to the abandonment of some garlic fields and adoption of strict containment rules. White rot has been confirmed in Northeastern states over the last decade as well, with New York being one of the last to discover the disease.

The primary reason that White Rot is such a concern is because the sclerotia, or reproductive structures, can remain dormant in the soil for up to 40 years, attacking any allium crop planted into the soil under favorable conditions. This spring was ideal for infection due to the period of cool, moist weather we had. Optimal temperature for infection is 60-65 degrees F, but infection can occur anywhere from 50-75 degrees F.
Once garlic has white rot, it generally declines rapidly. Leaves will yellow and the plant will wilt, not unlike a severe fusarium infection. However, unlike with fusarium, white rot infected bulbs are covered in black sclerotia and white fungus. To add to the confusion, another disease CAN look similar. Botrytis also causes black sclerotia and white fungal growth. However, Botrytis sclerotia are quite large, often larger than a pencil eraser.

So, what do we do now? We're still working on long-term management strategies, but the most important steps to take now are vigilance when culling (look at the plants you are pulling for symptoms like you see in this article, and if they are present, call us to take a sample and have the disease verified) and, if you see anything suspicious, reduction of movement of inoculum. The main ways diseases get moved around are by dumping culls (compost, field edges, etc) and my moving soil on equipment. Throw away your culls, and wash equipment that may have come in contact with suspicious garlic or the soil it is growing in. Everything from cultivation equipment to harvest bins should be cleaned. 

We will keep learning about this disease and will keep sending out information, particularly to help you make decisions about what to sell and buy. For now, remember that the west coast has learned to manage the disease, and we will too. -Crystal Stewart, ENYCHP


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Carrots

Carrots

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Dry Beans

Dry Beans

Eggplant

Eggplant

Ethnic Vegetables

Ethnic Vegetables

Garlic

Garlic

Horseradish

Horseradish

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Leeks

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Melons

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Onions

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Pumpkins / Gourds

Radishes

Radishes

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

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Upcoming Events

Orleans Produce Auction Growers Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 23, 2018
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Lyndonville, NY

This course will demonstrate pest management in fresh market vegetables in both field and greenhouse (high tunnel) vegetables; primarily for those growing for wholesale auction. A hands-on demonstration of weed, insect and disease identification in vegetables including management options such as inter-row cover crops, grafting and where appropriate, spray options will be used to educate growers. Judson Reid, Senior Extension Associate with the Cornell Vegetable Program along with CCE staff will instruct participants and facilitate peer-based learning. Details on each topic will focus on field observations at the farm.
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Seneca County Produce Auction Growers Meeting

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 25, 2018
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Ovid, NY

This course will demonstrate pest management in fresh market vegetables in both field and greenhouse (high tunnel) vegetables; primarily for those growing for wholesale auction. A hands-on demonstration of weed, insect and disease identification in vegetables including management options such as inter-row cover crops, grafting and where appropriate, spray options will be used to educate growers. Judson Reid, Senior Extension Associate with the Cornell Vegetable Program along with CCE staff will instruct participants and facilitate peer-based learning. Details on each topic will focus on field observations at the farm.
view details

Finger Lakes Produce Auction Growers Meeting (Yates)

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 27, 2018
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Dundee, NY

This course will demonstrate pest management in fresh market vegetables in both field and greenhouse (high tunnel) vegetables; primarily for those growing for wholesale auction. A hands-on demonstration of weed, insect and disease identification in vegetables including management options such as inter-row cover crops, grafting and where appropriate, spray options will be used to educate growers. Judson Reid, Senior Extension Associate with the Cornell Vegetable Program along with CCE staff will instruct participants and facilitate peer-based learning. Details on each topic will focus on field observations at the farm.
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Announcements

Managing Bird Damage in Sweet Corn

Former CCE Cornell Vegetable Program Specialist Darcy Telenko shares information on her on-farm research of bird management options to minimize damage to sweet corn in this video and final report. Learn more about the tools she evaluated -- chemical control, air dancers, scare-eye balloons, and detasseling.

Watch the video now! 
Read the final report now!

This research was supported by a Northeast SARE Partnership Grant and the New York Farm Viability Institute.

Vegetable Sizing Templates Available

To assist farmers looking to sell into wholesale markets, vegetable sizing templates are now available for bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cucumbers, eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, zucchini and summer squash. The crop templates are scaled to size (8.5 x 11 paper). They can be printed and used to create sizing templates to be used by workers on the wash and pack lines. Additional grading resources are available too.

Growing for Wholesale Guidelines Available

Grading and packing guidelines are available for 16 commonly grown specialty crops in NYS: broccoli crowns, Brussels sprouts, corn, green peppers, cucumbers, green cabbage, red cabbage, savory cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, green beans, jalapenos, poblanos, Hungarian hot peppers, summer squash, and zucchini.

Acceptable quality standards and common defects that should be sorted out on the grading line are depicted in these resources, both visually and in outline form. Find all of the grading sheets here.

Cornell Commercial Vegetable Guidelines Available

The 2018 Cornell Integrated Crop and Pest Management Guidelines for Commercial Vegetable Production are now available!

Written by Cornell University specialists, this publication is designed to offer producers, seed and chemical dealers, and crop consultants practical information on growing and managing vegetable crops in New York State. Topics include general culture, nutrient management, transplant production, postharvest handling, organic production, and managing common vegetable crop pest concerns. A preview of the Vegetable Guidelines can be seen online.

Highlighted changes in the 2018 Vegetable Guidelines include:
  • Updated pesticide options for economically important vegetable crop pests.
  • Significantly revised pest management practices.
  • New onion and sweet corn IPM scouting report forms.
Cornell Crop and Pest Management Guidelines are available as a print copy ($41), online-only access ($41), or a package combining print and online access ($57.50). Shipping charges will be added to your order. Cornell Guidelines can be obtained through your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office, or from the Cornell Store at Cornell University or call (844) 688-7620.

Empire State Producers EXPO Proceedings

Proceedings from the Empire State Producers EXPO conference from 2011-2018 are available online.

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