Stake Culture Reduces Foliar Disease and Postharvest Fruit Rot in Tomatoes Grown Under Weekly or Forecaster-generated Fungicide Schedules

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  • 1 Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Warren County, 165 County Route 519 South, Belvidere, NJ 07823-1949.
  • | 2 Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Hunterdon County, 4 Gauntt Place, Flemington, NJ 08822-9058.
  • | 3 Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Hunterdon County, 4 Gauntt Place, Flemington, NJ 08822-9058.
  • | 4 Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Morris County, PO Box 900, Morristown, NJ 07963-0900.
  • | 5 Rutgers University, Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 121 Northville Road, Bridgeton, NJ 08302-9499.

The effect of disease forecasting systems and stake or ground culture on foliar and postharvest disease control for tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) was evaluated during two growing seasons in northern New Jersey. Foliar disease was reduced and marketable yield increased by stake culture. Percent of postharvest losses, including loss due to anthracnose, was significantly reduced by stake culture. Effectiveness of disease control schedules, weekly or forecaster-generated, was not affected by cultural system. Disease forecasting was shown to have potential for optimizing fungicide use in tomato production by controlling foliar disease and fruit anthracnose with fewer applications than a weekly schedule.

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