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  • Author or Editor: Daren S. Mueller x
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Daylilies (Hemerocallis sp.) have traditionally been considered to be pest-free. However, a rust disease caused by Puccinia hemerocallidis Thüm. has become an increasing problem in the United States since 2000. The objective of this study was to evaluate daylily cultivars for resistance to daylily rust. From a greenhouse evaluation of 84 inoculated cultivars, 14 (17%) were classified as resistant; 13 (15%) were classified as moderately resistant; 22 (26%) were classified as moderately susceptible; and 35 (42%) were classified as fully susceptible. Several cultivars displayed very high levels of resistance and may be utilized by breeders to develop cultivars with improved resistance to daylily rust. Information about the resistance and susceptibility of cultivars also will help commercial growers and gardeners select cultivars that have the potential to dramatically reduce damaging outbreaks of rust.

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Recently, roses (Rosa spp.) that require relatively little maintenance have gained in popularity in the United States. One group of these roses is the Griffith Buck roses, which were selected to survive the extremely cold winters of the north-central United States. Many of these roses were rated qualitatively as having disease resistance when they were released, but their resistance levels to black spot (Marssonina rosae) have not been quantified, compared with each other, or rated against other resistant or susceptible roses. In a field trial in Iowa in 2005 and 2006, 24 Griffith Buck roses that were originally described as disease resistant were compared with susceptible and resistant control cultivars for susceptibility to black spot. No fungicides were applied in either year. Plants were rated five times each year for black spot incidence, and also to assess overall plant appearance. Griffith Buck roses ‘Carefree Beauty’, ‘Aunt Honey’, ‘Honeysweet’, ‘Earthsong’, and ‘Pearlie Mae’ had significantly less black spot than many of the other cultivars. In addition, these cultivars also remained attractive and could be used in low-maintenance landscapes in the north-central United States, even under moderate black spot pressure.

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The sooty blotch and flyspeck (SBFS) disease complex causes cosmetic damage but does not affect the safety or eating quality of apples. Treatment for disease is more difficult and costly for organic producers, and consumers' willingness to pay for organic apples needs to be considered in growers' choice of production technologies. A mixed probit model was applied to survey data to evaluate consumers' willingness to buy apples. The results show consumers will pay a premium for organic production methods and for apples with low amounts of SBFS damage. Behavioral variables such as experience growing fruit significantly affect the willingness to buy apples of different damage levels. Consumers have limited tolerance of very blemished apples and trade off production technology attributes for cosmetic appearance. Better understanding of this tradeoff can improve organic producers' decisions about disease control.

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