Disease Forecasting on Stake Cultured Tomatoes: Defining Decision Thresholds for Use of TOM-CAST in Northern New Jersey

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

Fourteen different fungicide schedules for early blight control, including eight variations of TOM-CAST, were evaluated at the Snyder Research and Extension Farm, Pittstown, N.J. Weather data was collected with Sensor Instruments Field Monitors. All calendar-based schedules—weekly, biweekly, grower simulation—reduced foliar disease compared to the untreated control. All forecast generated schedules—TOM-CAST variations, FAST and CUFAST—reduced foliar disease compared to the untreated control. Several of the forecast schedules resulted in disease ratings not significantly different from those following calendar based schedules or from each other. The fourteen different schedules required as many as sixteen to as few as four fungicide applications. Disease control schedule did not affect total yield, marketable yield and postharvest losses. Disease control with a TOM-CAST generated schedule based on weather data from an electronic meteorological service was not different from disease control obtained with a TOM-CAST schedule based on ground station weather data. Potential cost savings of as much as $295 per acre resulting from reduced fungicide schedules were estimated. Chemical name used: tetrachloroisophtalonitrile (chlorothalonil).

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