Comparison of Disease Forecasting for Early Blight Control on Stake Culture Versus Ground Culture Fresh-market Tomatoes in New Jersey

in HortScience
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  • 1 Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Hunterdon County, 4 Gauntt Place, Flemington, NJ 08822-9058

The number of fungicide applications for tomato early blight control required by three disease forecasting systems—FAST, Pennsylvania State Univ., CUFAST, Cornell Univ., and TOMCAST, Ridgetown College, Ont.—was less than the number required following a weekly schedule. Foliar disease was significantly lower for all schedules compared to the untreated control. Cultural treatment had no significant effect on disease control, but disease incidence was significantly lower for stake culture than ground culture treatments. Total yield was not affected by cultural treatment, was significantly increased by a weekly fungicide application schedule, and was not appreciably different among the forecast fungicide application schedules. Marketable yield was significantly higher for stake culture than ground culture treatments and was significantly increased by all fungicide application schedules compared to the untreated control. Marketable yield was significantly lower for certain forecast schedules compared to the weekly schedule. Potential cost savings of $379 per acre and pesticide reductions of 33 lbs a.i. per acre for the season were calculated. Chemical name used: tetrachloroisophtalonitrile (chlorothalonil).

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