Field observations indicate that polygenic resistance to downy mildew (Peronospora farinosa f. sp. spinaciae) was observed during the course of a breeding program to develop polygenic resistance to white rust (Albugo occidentalis). Field studies were initiated using five cultivars and one breeding line to quantify the level of resistance to downy mildew and white rust. Separate plots were inoculated with each pathogen at a specific spore concentration and then subjected to a minimum dew period of 12h. Infection was quantified by measuring latent period, lesion number, lesion size, sporulation and percent leaf area infected.