Integrated Use of Biopesticides & Biofungicides (Companion®) with Conventional Fungicides to Control Powdery Mildew on Cantaloupe Cultivar (Hale's Best)
University of Florida, IFAS - GCREC, 2009
Dr. Gary E. Vallad
Objective:Assess the effect of selected Biopesticides & Biofungicides on the severity of the disease Powdery Mildew (Podosphaera fuliginea) on Hale's Best cantaloupe cultivars when alternated with treatments of conventional fungicide, Procure®.
Method: At the University of Florida's Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Balm, FL, plots were planted in 8 ft. beds sections, along 300 ft. raised beds (4 ft. center-to-center bed spacing), covered with black (virtually) impermeable mulch and were irrigated via a drip system. Hale's Best Cantaloupe cultivar seeds were planted at 30" spacing along the beds, with 6 ft. sections between the plots (every third bed as a buffer) on 6-Mar. Each plot received alternating treatments of Procure® in rotation with another selected biopesticide or fungicide and were arranged in a randomized block design, repeated 4 times. Treatment dates were 9-Apr (1), 16-Apr (2), 23-Apr (3), 30-Apr (4), 7-May (5), 14-May (6), & 2-Jun (7). Procure® was applied in treatments 2, 4 & 6, while the selected biopesticides /biofungicides were applied in treatments 1, 3, 5 & 7.
Powdery Mildew presence and influence was monitored throughout the entire trial. Assessments were taken on 13-May and 28-May when the disease reached acceptable levels. Disease severity was measured using the Horsfall-Barratt scale, and the values were converted to mid-percentages prior to statistical analyses. Marketable yield (number of fruit and fruit weight) was calculated from two separate harvest on 28-May and 3-Jun.
Results: Disease Severity was quite substantial in the Control (56.3 & 93.3%) versus the plots treated with Companion®, Regalia® & Actinovate®. Both Companion® & Regalia® performed well comparatively to the Control with 1.1% on 13-May and 37.5% on 28-May presence of affected canopy.
Significant differences were identified in both marketable fruit and weight. Within both of these parameters there was a notable improvement of both the number and weight of the cantaloupes in the plots treated with Companion®. Companion® when alternated with Procure® produced the most fruit per plot among the biopesticide / biofungicide rotational treatments, yielding double the total amount of the Control (avg). Total weight of plots treated with Companion® increased 46.05% (avg) compared to the Control.
Companion® is a registered trademark of Growth Products, Ltd., Banner Max ® is a registered trademark of Syngenta Group Company, Eagle® is a registered trademark of Dow AgroSciences LLC, Heritage® is a registered trademark of Syngenta Group Company.