At least 150 growers make cultural changes which reduce the severity of field-based diseases by 50% on 100 acres of garlic over three years. Assuming yield of 10,000 pounds per acre, and reduction from 10% to 5% infection, growers would realize an estimated 500 lb/A, or $4,500/A gross revenue/A.
Cultural conditions in the field can be changed to affect disease infection rates on garlic.
Fusarium disease progression is affected by nitrogen fertility and inoculum source.
Methods to test hypothesis 1:
This hypothesis will be tested by implementing one year of field trials in two locations: Western New York and Eastern New York. Sites will be chosen in part for variation in soil type, and we also expect based on historical weather data to see different growing conditions in each site. The trials will be hosted on farms which have a history of struggling with field diseases. In each case the trial will be planted with seed which has tested positive for fusarium, and baseline infection rates of fusarium and botrytis prior to planting will be rated.
Treatments (all planted in German White unless noted, fall planted unless noted, and all with optimum fertility):
- Raised bed, white plastic
- Raised bed, black plastic
- Raised bed, straw mulch
- Raised bed, bare ground
- Raised bed, spring planted bare ground
- Raised bed, spring planted straw mulch
- Flat ground, white plastic
- Flat ground, black plastic
- Flat ground, straw mulch
- Flat ground, bare
- Flat ground, bare, spring planted
- Flat ground, straw mulch, spring planted
This trial will be set up in blocks by raised bed and flat ground, with randomization within these treatments. Each treatment will have four replications.
6 leaf stage: A stand count, plant uniformity, and disease/damage rating will be performed on each plot. Suspicious samples will be sent to Geneva for testing.
6-7 leaf state: Plant uniformity and disease/damage rating, with suspicious samples sent to Geneva.
Early bulbing: Plant uniformity and disease rating, with suspicious samples sent to Geneva.
Harvest/after drying: Final stand count, disease rating, and final yield/average bulb weight will be measured. A subsample of each treatment will be withheld for disease incubation.
Methods to test hypothesis 2:
This hypothesis will be tested by implementing field trials in two locations: Western NY and Long Island. Because the trials are being inoculated with fusarium, they will be hosted at research farms.
- Clean seed, optimum nitrogen
- Inoculated clean seed, optimum nitrogen
- Naturally infested seed, optimum nitrogen
- Clean seed in inoculated ground, optimum nitrogen
- Clean seed, low nitrogen – 50 lb/A
- Clean seed, High nitrogen – 150 lb/A
- Clean seed, optimum nitrogen, Oxidate dip + Terraclean drench every 14 days
- Inoculated clean seed, optimum nitrogen, Oxidate dip + Terraclean drench every 14 days
- Naturally infested seed, optimum nitrogen, Oxidate dip + Terraclean drench every 14 days
- Clean seed in artificially inoculated ground, opti nitrogen, Oxidate dip + Terraclean drench every 14 days
- Naturally infested seed in low nitrogen
- Naturally infested seed in optimum nitrogen
- Naturally infested seed in high nitrogen
Data collection: same as for hypothesis one, with the addition of foliar nitrogen sampling at 6-7 leaf stage in fertility treatments.
Farmer input: Growers have long grappled with the question of where fusarium comes from—is it in the seed or the soil? Is all fusarium the same? Growers (and vegetable specialist) also express concern about hydrogen dioxide dips not effectively controlling disease. Finally, growers have expressed concern that garlic, like many other crops, becomes “too soft” with excess fertility and becomes more susceptible to disease.
Field observational study:
Hypothesis: Garlic is suffering from different species or subspecies of Fusarium which vary in severity and primary inoculum source, and vary by garlic variety.
Broad sampling of industry in Northeast to determine variation in Fusaria:
August 2016: Examine samples collected throughout harvest 2016 season which exhibit fusarium symptoms (up to 90 samples from the Northeast)
July 2017: Repeat sampling at harvest in Northeast to determine if Fusarium species/type varies from year to year (additional 90 samples)
Intensive sampling for progression: 8 farms will be sampled in two varieties each: Porcelain and Rocambole (or other non-porcelain variety). Sampling will occur 4 times at distinct growth stages:
- Garlic at 6 inches
- At 6-7 leaf stage
- At early bulbing
- At harvest (if needed)
5 plants of each variety which appear unhealthy will be harvested and sent to Geneva for evaluation at each sampling.
Data from the 2017 growing season were analyzed and reported on in the following publications:
Three grower meetings were held this summer to allow an opportunity to see how the garlic was growing under different conditions. A total of 83 growers attended the three meetings.
At least 1000 growers receive information through CCE Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program’s Newsletter; CCE Cornell Vegetable Program’s Newsletter; CCE’s Long Island Fruit and Vegetable Report; and through the Garlic Press, in addition to other newsletters throughout the Northeast upon request, about field-based soil-borne disease management best practices and additional information about Fusarium including its apparent primary source (seed or soil), and any susceptibility differences in garlic varieties. This information allows growers to create crop rotations or make seed selections which reduce field-based disease levels (fall 2017).
I have not yet released the results, because we are still doing the detailed fusarium ratings from in storage. Fusarium levels at harvest were too low to see differences between treatments. We are hoping that in storage any differences become more noticeable.
At least 100 growers attend field meetings demonstrating various cultural practices and their effects on field-based disease severity, with an emphasis on fusarium and other soil-borne diseases. Three field meetings will take place at research trial locations in the Mid-Hudson Valley of NY, at the Long-Island Research Farm, and in the Ithaca area. Growers leave understanding how to implement best practices on their farm, and know the costs and benefits of each practice (June-July 2017).
We held three field meetings at the trial sites this year. Batavia and Hurley meetings were well attended, but the attendance at the Long Island meeting was quite light due to the weather. We will be having a garlic and onion school in February where we talk about this information again, which I anticipate will easily bring our grower attendance up over 100.
At least 300 growers learn about best cultural practices for field-based disease control at winter meetings throughout the Northeast, including NOFA NY (January 2018) and VT (February 2018); the NE Vegetable Conference (December 2017); New York’s garlic schools on Long Island in Eastern NY (February 2018), and in Western NY (February 2018); and the Mid-Atlantic Vegetable Conference (February 2018). Growers understand which cultural changes would result in the greatest reduction of field-based disease on their farms (winter 2017-2018).
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Milestone Activities and Participation Summary
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Performance Target Outcomes
Growers will make cultural changes which reduce the severity of field-based diseases by 50% on 100 acres of garlic over three years.
Assuming yield of 10,000 pounds per acre, and reduction from 10% to 5% infection, growers would realize an estimated 500 lb/A, or $4,500/A gross revenue/A.
not completed yet
not completed yet
not completed yet
Additional Project Outcomes
This grant was used to obtain a farm viability grant which allows us to do a second year of trialing. Because of this our results will be much stronger, and we are hoping to wait until we have second year data to release some of them.