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  • Author or Editor: Nagehan D. Köycü x
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Elemental sulfur is commonly applied for powdery mildew (Erysiphe necator) protection on winegrape (Vitis sp.). The product may be used in a diversified, integrated disease management system to help prevent fungicide resistance to products with other modes of action. Additionally, sulfur may be used as a control option in organic systems. Applications of sulfur have been known to cause phytotoxic injury to susceptible winegrape cultivars, particularly those stemming from fox grape (Vitis labrusca) parentage. To improve recommendations to producers in the northern Great Plains region of the United States, a comparison of injury incidence and severity, as well as effects on yield characteristics was undertaken for 13 regional cultivars exposed to three sulfur rates (0, 2.4, and 4.8 lb/acre a.i.) at a North Dakota State University Research Station near Absaraka, ND. Overall, four cultivars (Bluebell, Baltica, Sabrevois, and King of the North) of the 13 cultivars tested showed phytotoxic symptoms. Injury severity and incidence of these cultivars differed between years and across rates. ‘Bluebell’ showed consistent and severe sulfur injury symptoms. Injury to the other three susceptible cultivars tended to vary by the given environment, with King of the North generally showing the lowest injury response. Injury symptoms were not found to be associated with the overall yield or cluster weight. Results suggest that alternative spray programs that exclude sulfur-based fungicides should be recommended for ‘Bluebell’, ‘Baltica’, ‘Sabrevois’, and ‘King of the North’, whereas sulfur-based fungicides may be applied to ‘Alpenglow’, ‘ES 12-6-18’, ‘Frontenac’, ‘Frontenac Gris’, ‘La Crescent’, ‘Marquette’, ‘Somerset Seedless’, ‘St. Croix’, and ‘Valiant’. Observations on fruit ripening in 2014 suggest that future research is needed to determine if a reduction of fruit quality may occur in some seasons with repeated sulfur applications or with successive annual sulfur applications for susceptible cultivars if used in an organic production system.

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