(30) Effects of Fungicides and Cultivar Resistance for Phytophthora capsici Control in Bell Pepper Production

in HortScience

Management strategies for Phytophthora blight (caused by Phytophthora capsici) in bell pepper production are limited and there is no single method that will consistently provide adequate control. Twelve bell pepper cultivars (including four marketed as resistant/tolerant to P. capsici) were transplanted into a P. capsici-infested field and were managed with or without fungicide applications. The fungicide applications consisted of: i) Mefenoxam (Ridomil Gold EC, 1.2 L/ha) at transplant; and ii) a spray application of Dimethomorph (Acrobat, 0.45 kg/ha) + Copper (Tenn-Cop, 3.6 L/ha) alternated with Manganese ethylenebisdithiocarbamate (Maneb, 2.8 kg/ha) + Copper (Tenn-Cop; 3.6 L/ha) at 10- to 14-day intervals. Regardless of cultivar, the standard fungicide program reduced the incidence of Phytophthora blight and resulted in greater yields and farm-gate revenues when compared to the no fungicide program. Across all cultivars, total farm-gate revenues per hectare were $6,773 and $3,674 for the standard fungicide program and the no fungicide program, respectively. For P. capsici-tolerant cultivars, farm-gate revenues improved with the use of the standard fungicide program by $1,316, $4,427, and $5,447 per hectare for `Aristotle X3R', `Revolution', and `Alliance', respectively, compared to no fungicide applications. Furthermore, farm-gate revenue for P. capsici-resistant `Paladin' was improved by $3,240 per hectare when a standard fungicide program was used. Results indicate that although plant resistance is an important component of a P. capsici bell pepper management program, the use of recommended fungicides could improve disease control and increase farm-gate revenues.

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