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K.G. Childs, T.A. Nell, J.E. Barrett, and D.G. Clark

Experiments were conducted to evaluate the development of stored unrooted Pelargonium × hortorum `Designer Bright Scarlet' cuttings. Treatments included storage temperature and duration and pre-storage fungicide application. Cuttings were harvested from stock plants treated with water or fungicide (Iprodione), and were stored at 60°F and 75°F for 2, 4, and 6 days. Leaf yellowing data (visual quality rating, chlorophyll fluorescence, and total chlorophyll content) were measured at the start of propagation and 7 days later. At both dates, cuttings stored but not treated with fungicide displayed more leaf yellowing after storage at 75°F for 4 and 6 days or at 60°F for 6 days compared to fungicide-treated cuttings and non-stored controls. Cutting quality was not affected by 2 days of storage, regardless of storage temperature or fungicide treatment. Fungicide-treated cuttings had less leaf yellowing after storage for 6 days at 60°F or 75°F compared to untreated cuttings, but they had more leaf yellowing than no storage controls after 7 days of propagation. Root number and root length of each cutting was measured at 14 days after start of propagation. Cuttings treated with fungicide displayed better adventitious root formation after all 4- and 6-day storage treatments compared to cuttings stored but not treated with fungicide.

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Michael A. Fidanza and Peter H. Dernoeden

Rhizoctonia blight (RB), incited by Rhizoctonia solani Kühn, is a common disease of cool-season turfgrasses. This 2-year field study was conducted to determine the influence of N source, N application timing, and fungicide treatment on RB severity in `Caravelle' perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). Ringer Lawn Restore (Ringer), a slow-release N source, was compared to water-soluble urea. Nitrogen was applied according to either a spring (March, May, June, and September) or fall (September, October, November, and May) schedule. Plots received either N only or N plus the fungicide iprodione (3.1 kg a.i./ha applied at 21-day intervals). RB was reduced with fall-applied Ringer compared to spring-applied urea in both years in fungicide-free plots. Nitrogen generally enhanced foliar mycelium growth and RB during the initial infection periods (i.e., late June to late July). By mid- to late August there were extremely high levels of blighting among all fungicide-free treatments. Nitrogen source and N application time had no effect on the level of blighting in iprodione-treated plots. During early disease outbreaks, iprodione did not always prevent foliar mycelium from appearing, but it did protect turf from severe RB. Iprodione reduced blighting, but the level of disease suppression and resulting turfgrass quality provided on the extended spray interval was not acceptable for high-quality golf course fairways. Chemical name used: 3-(3,5-dichlorophenyl)-N-(1-methylethyl)-2,4-dioxo-1-imidazolidine carboxamide (iprodione).

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M.H. Maletta, W.P. Cowgill Jr., and S.A. Johnston

A research trial evaluation of fungicides and fungicide combinations in conjunction with weekly or TOM-CAST (an early blight forecast system) spray schedules was conducted in 1998. Fungicide regimens were: Quadris (alternating with Bravo Weatherstik); Bravo Weatherstik; Manzate followed by Bravo Weatherstik; Champ; Champ and Bravo; Nu-Cop; NuCop and Bravo The weekly schedule resulted in 15 fungicide applications; the TOM-CAST schedule required five applications. Foliar disease was rated weekly. Mature fruit were harvested weekly to obtain total and marketable yields. All fungicide treatments reduced foliar disease compared to the untreated control. Quadris alternating with Bravo Weatherstik on a weekly or TOM-CAST schedule provided better disease control than any other material on either schedule. There were no significant differences in disease control among the other materials applied weekly. Disease control achieved with the TOM-CAST schedule was somewhat less than with the weekly schedule for all materials. Quadris/Bravo or Bravo provided the best control and Champ or Nu-Cop alone provided the least control on the TOM-CAST schedule. Total yield was not affected by fungicide or schedule. Marketable yield was reduced by weekly applications of copper fungicides compared to most other treatments. Chemical names used: tetrachloroisophtalonitrile (chlorothalonil); [methyl (E)-2-{2-[6-(2-cyanophenoxy) pyrimidin-4-yloxy]phenyl}-3-methoxyacrylate (asoxystrobin); copper hydroxide; manganese ethylene bisdithiocarbamate and zinc.

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D.J. Mills, C.B. Coffman, J.R. Teasdale, J.D. Anderson, and K.L. Everts

In the production of fresh-market vegetables, off-farm inputs, such as, plastic, nitrogen fertilizer, fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides are routinely used. One aim of the sustainable agriculture program at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center is to develop systems that reduce these inputs. We have completed the second year of a study designed to examine foliar disease progress, foliar disease management, and marketable fruit yield in staked fresh-market tomatoes grown in low- and high-input production systems. Specifically, four culture practices (black plastic mulch, hairy vetch mulch, dairy manure compost, and bare ground) were compared in conjunction with three foliar disease management treatments (no fungicide, weekly fungicide, and a foliar disease forecasting model, TOMCAST). Within all culture practices, use of the TOMCAST model reduced fungicide input nearly 50%, compared with the weekly fungicide treatment, without compromising productivity or disease management. With regard to disease level, a significant reduction of early blight disease severity within the hairy vetch mulch was observed in 1997 in relation to the other culture practices. Early blight disease severity within the black plastic and hairy vetch mulches was significantly less than that observed in the bare ground and compost treatments in 1998. In addition, despite a 50 % reduction in synthetic nitrogen input, the hairy vetch mulch generated yields of marketable fruit comparable to or greater than the other culture practices. It appears that low-input, sustainable, production systems can be developed that reduce the dependence on off-farm inputs of plastic, nitrogen fertilizer, and pesticides, yet generate competitive yields.

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D.A. Rosenberger, T.L. Robinson, J.R. Schupp, C.A. Engle-Ahlers, and F.W. Meyer

Effects of three sterol-demethylation inhibiting (DMI) fungicides and a contact fungicide were compared over two years at each of two locations to determine if fungicide treatments had differential effects on productivity, fruit size and shape, or gross returns for `Empire' apples (Malus ×domestica Borkh.). Treatments were applied four to five times per year during the primary apple scab season. Effects of treatments were assessed by comparing fruit set efficiencies, number of fruit per tree, total harvested fruit weight, and fruit length: diameter ratios at harvest. No significant differences were noted among individual treatments in any of the four trials. However, when treatments were contrasted by grouping individual treatments, significantly larger fruit size was noted for triflumizole treatments vs. combined fenarimol and myclobutanil treatments in one of the four trials and for captan or mancozeb compared to fenarimol and myclobutanil treatments in two trials. None of the DMI fungicides compared in these trials had any consistent adverse affect on fruit size, total yield, or estimated gross return per hectare. We conclude that the plant growth regulator effects of DMI fungicides are inconsistent and are unlikely to have significant economic impact on commercial apple production.

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Weiguang Yi, S. Edward Law, and Hazel Y. Wetzstein

In almond [Prunis dulcis (Mill.) D.A. Webb.], fungicide sprays are required to prevent blossom blight, which can infect open flowers. Numerous studies have reported detrimental effects of agrochemical sprays on pollination, fruit set, and yield in tree fruit crops. However, effects of fungicides on pollen germination and growth in almond are little known, particularly those from recently developed active ingredients. In this study we evaluated the effects of commercial formulations of 10 fungicides on pollen germination and tube growth in almond using in vitro assays. Assays conducted at 1/100 recommended field rates (RFR) were effective in delineating differences in almond pollen sensitivity to different fungicides. Captan and azoxystrobin were the most inhibitory, with germination percentages of less than 1% of the no-fungicide control. Germination was not significantly affected by propiconazole and benomyl. Intermediate inhibitory effects on pollen germination were observed with ziram, cyprodinil, maneb, thiophanate-methyl, iprodione, and myclobutanil. In contrast to germination, tube growth was less affected by the presence of fungicide. In pollen that germinated, tube elongation was the same as in controls in five of 10 of the fungicides evaluated. Nonetheless, azoxystrobin and captan reduced tube elongation by ≈90%. Some fungicide treatments also influenced tube morphology. In the absence of field evaluation studies, in vitro germination data may provide insight on how specific chemicals may impact pollination processes and further guide in vivo studies, particularly in the case of new chemical formulations.

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Charles C. Reilly and Bruce W. Wood

Propiconazole, a fungicide, suppressed leaf area of a wide variety of young pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) K. Koch] seedling genotypes but did not reduce leaf area of orchard trees. Leaf area declined linearly as dosage increased from 0.16 to 1.25 mL·L–1. Suppression of leaf area by propiconazole was inversely proportional to leaf age. No reduction of leaf area was detected in orchards where `Cheyenne', `Desirable', and `Pawnee' were treated with three applications (14-day intervals) of fungicide (either propiconazole, fentin hydroxide, or fenbuconazole) from budbreak to early May. Spring application of the three fungicides alone or in combination with zinc sulfate did not influence fruit set. Control of pecan scab [Cladosporium caryigenum (Ell. et Lang) Gottwald] was achieved with either fentin hydroxide or fenbuconazole for the full season, or with early season use of dodine, then propiconazole, and then followed by fentin hydroxide for late-season disease control. Fungicide treatments had no effect on nut weight. These data indicate that fungicides applied to pecan during pollination at commercially recommended dosages and intervals, with or without zinc sulfate, do not adversely influence leaf area or fruit set of orchard trees. Chemical names used: n-dodecylguanidine acetate (dodine); triphenyltin hydroxide (fentin hydroxide); 1-[[2-(2,4-dichlorophenyl)-4-propyl-1,3-dioxolan-2-yl] methyl]-1H-1,2,4-triazole (propiconazole); α-[2-(4-chlorophenyl)ethyl]-α-phenyl-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-propanenitrile (fenbuconazole).

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Kevin R. Kosola and Beth Ann A. Workmaster

Although ericoid mycorrhizal fungi improve nitrogen (N) nutrition of cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) and other Ericaceae in their native habitat, the prevalence of ericoid mycorrhizal colonization in cranberry has not been widely examined. The authors measured ericoid mycorrhizal colonization of cranberry root samples from 13 cultivars growing in cranberry beds in Wisconsin. Mycorrhizal colonization was present in all samples. Bed age had a slight but statistically significant negative effect on mycorrhizal colonization. Neither cultivar, bed substratum, nor soil pH had a significant effect on mycorrhizal colonization. Fungicide treatment for fruit diseases did not appear to affect mycorrhizal colonization of cranberry roots. Soil layering in the root zone incited by regular sanding had a significant effect on mycorrhizal colonization; colonization decreased with increasing depth in the root zone soil. Leaf litter was more decomposed in deeper soil layers, with a lower carbon-to-N ratio. Given the consistent presence of ericoid mycorrhizal fungi in cultivated cranberry, it is possible that they may play a role in N nutrition of the cranberry agroecosystem.

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M.L. Gleason, M.K. Ali, P.A. Domoto, D.R. Lewis, and M.D. Duffy

Integrated peat management (IPM) strategies for control of apple scab and codling moth (Cydia pomonolla) were compared with a traditional protestant spray program in an Iowa apple orchard over a 3-year period. IPM tactics for scab included a postinfection spray program and an integrated, reduced-spray program based on the use of demethylation inhibitor fungicides. Codling moth spray timing was determined by pheromone-trap captures and degree-day models. The IPM tactics resulted in an average of three fewer fungicide sprays and two fewer insecticide sprays than the protestant program. Neither yield, incidence of fruit scab, nor incidence of codling moth injury on fruit was significantly different among the two IPM treatments and the protestant treatment. A no-fungicide treatment had significantly lower yield and greater scab incidence than the other treatments. A partial budget analysis indicated that the treatment using the postinfection strategy was more costly per acre than the protectant program for orchards <20 acres, about equivalent in cost for 20 acres, but leas costly for 40 acres. A treatment incorporating the integrated, reduced-spray strategy was less costly than either postinfection or protestant strategies at orchard sizes from 5 to 40 acres. Return (total revenue - cost for control of primary scab and codling moth) per acre for the IPM strategies was somewhat lower than for the protestant program.

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George C. Elliott and Harvey J. Lang

Fungicides were applied at label rates to two commercial soilless potting media in which Iris siberica L. crowns had been potted and were subsequently grown under greenhouse conditions. Effects of fungicides on urea hydrolysis were inconsistent and generally insignificant. Ammonium oxidation was inhibited to varying degrees by Truban, Benlate, Banol, and Subdue. In a subsequent experiment, the same fungicides were added to cropped samples of the same media in vitro, followed 12 hours later by a solution containing urea and ammonium. Urea hydrolysis was essentially unaffected by fungicide treatments. Subsequent oxidation of ammonium was inhibited by Truban and Banol only in one medium. Transient accumulation of nitrite was inhibited by Truban but stimulated by Benlate in both media. When added to pure cultures of Nitrosomonas europea and Nitrobacter agilis, Truban completely inhibited oxidation of ammonium and nitrite. Benlate partially inhibited oxidation of ammonium and nitrite, while Subdue and Banal partially inhibited oxidation of ammonium but not nitrite. Chemical names used: [Methyl 1-(butylcarbamoyl)-2-benzimidazolecarbamate] (benomyl); N- (2,6-dimethylphenyl) -N- (methoxyacetyl)alanine methyl ester (metalaxyl); [2-chloro-6-(trichloromethyl)pyridine (nitrapyrin); 5-Ethoxy-3-(trichloromethyl)-1,2,4-thiadiazole (ethazol); Propyl[3-(dimethylamino)propyl]carbamate monohydrochloride (propamocarb).