Adjustment of soil-surface pH and comparison with conventional fungicide treatments for control of lettuce drop
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Wilson, CR and De Little, J and Wong, JAL and Schupp, P and Gibson, LE, Adjustment of soil-surface pH and comparison with conventional fungicide treatments for control of lettuce drop
Sclerotinia minor, Plant Pathology, 54, (3) pp. 393-400. ISSN 0032-0862 (2005) [Refereed Article]
The use of soil-surface applications of finely powdered calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2) to inhibit Sclerotinia minor sclerotial germination and infection at the collar region of lettuce plants is described. In the laboratory, a pH > 8.0 reduced sclerotial germination of the three S. minor isolates tested. In the glasshouse, surface applications of 2-10 t Ca(OH) 2 ha-1 raised the pH of the top 1-2 cm of a duplex sandy loam soil above 8.5 for at least 8 weeks without affecting soil pH within the transplant root zone. There was a linear relationship between the rate of Ca(OH)2 applied and disease control, with complete disease suppression at 10 t Ca(OH)2 ha-1. In field trials on two soil types (duplex sandy loam, pH 6.0; and red ferrosol, pH 6.9), a rate of 2.5 t Ca(OH)2 ha-1, maintained soil-surface pH above 8.5 for 1-3 weeks and provided up to 58% reduction in lettuce drop. Application of polyvinyl alcohol (a soil-conditioning polymer) over the Ca(OH)2 layer appeared to reduce Ca(OH)2 loss by wind, but did not improve retention of raised soil-surface pH or disease suppression. Ca(OH)2 treatment gave similar disease control to the industry standard treatment of a procymidone-based fungicide seedling drench. A combined treatment of Ca(OH) 2 and fungicide drench gave greater control than either individual treatment, and equivalent control to fungicide drench and three procymidone foliar sprays, offering integrated management options. The use of soil-surface-applied Ca(OH)2 with fungicides, rotation and drip irrigation offers an opportunity for enhanced and sustainable control of lettuce drop. © 2005 BSPP.
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