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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #355466

Research Project: Mitigating Alternate Bearing of Pecan

Location: Fruit and Tree Nut Research

Title: Efficacy of Bordeaux mixture in reducing pecan scab in the southeastern U.S.A.

Author
item Bock, Clive
item Hotchkiss, Michael - Mike
item Shapiro Ilan, David
item Wells, Lenny - University Of Georgia
item Brock, Jason - University Of Georgia
item Brenneman, Timoth - University Of Georgia
item Mizell, Russ - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: Organic Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/23/2018
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Scab is the most important yield-limiting disease of pecan in the southeastern U.S.A. On susceptible cultivars, which are widely grown, conventional fungicides are applied intensively to minimize losses to the disease. Producers of organic pecan must either select resistant cultivars at planting, or find alternative methods to manage scab if the cultivars are susceptible. There has been little research on efficacy of organic products against scab, although historically, Bordeaux mixture was applied (until the late 1950s). We assessed the efficacy of Bordeaux mixture on the cultivar Stuart at two locations in Georgia from 2011 to 2016. There was a significant reduction in the severity of scab on fruit due to the Bordeaux mixture treatment at the Byron location in 2011 and 2014, and at the Colquitt location in 2014 only. In other seasons there was no effect, and a slight increase in severity in one case. In most seasons and assessments, the severity of scab was associated with reduced fruit weight. Based on the applied spray schedule, the results indicate Bordeaux mixture has limited effect in reducing pecan scab on cv. Stuart, and was somewhat unreliable between seasons. Further testing of Bordeaux mixture is warranted on other cultivars.

Technical Abstract: Pecan scab (Venturia effusa) is the most important yield-limiting disease of pecan (Carya illinoinensis) in the southeastern U.S.A. On susceptible cultivars, which are widely grown, conventional fungicides are applied intensively to minimize losses to the disease. Producers of organic pecan must either select resistant cultivars at planting, or find alternative methods to manage scab if the cultivars are susceptible. There has been little research on efficacy of organic products against scab, although historically, Bordeaux mixture was applied (until the late 1950s). We assessed the efficacy of Bordeaux mixture on the cultivar Stuart at two locations in Georgia from 2011 to 2016. Rainfall varied among seasons and locations, and impacted severity on the non-treated controls. Thus on mature fruit at the end of the season most severe scab occurred at the Colquitt location (46.12 to 71.84% fruit area diseased) compared to the Byron location (2.98 to 25.27% fruit area diseased). There was a significant reduction in the severity of scab on fruit due to the Bordeaux mixture treatment at the Byron location in 2011 (F=12.3, P=0.0005) and 2014 (F=4.4, P=0.04), and at the Colquitt location in 2014 (F=30.0, P<0.0001) only. In other seasons there was no effect, and a slight increase in severity in one case. In most seasons and assessments, the severity of scab was associated with reduced fruit weight. The results are discussed in relation to tree height and fungicide coverage, the cultivar and weather conditions. Based on the applied spray schedule, the results indicate Bordeaux mixture has limited effect in reducing pecan scab on cv Stuart, and was somewhat unreliable between seasons. We believe further testing of Bordeaux mixture is warranted on other cultivars, and efficacy should be compared to other organic fungicides. If considering planting a new pecan orchard to be managed organically, growers in the southeastern U.S.A. should consider selection of scab-resistant cultivars as an option.