Powdery mildew is a destructive disease for many crops but especially cucurbits such as Zucchini and Squash. This fungus is easily spread by the wind from plant to plant and can reduce production, decreased qualify of fruit and even cause death. This project will compare two inexpensive organic preventative methods against two traditional forms of treatment to determine their effectiveness, benefits and cost efficiency. The four methods addressed in this project will be Korean Natural Farming fungicide treatment, raw milk dilution, Sturgas (biofungicide) and Cueva (Copper Fungicide). The data collected will be the total cost of each treatment, labor hours, yield, disease development and severity. The crops will be planted in late summer to ensure the likely-hood of disease development without manual inoculation. Results from the project will be presented through a local workshop/conference supported and promoted by Central State University as well as on-farm tours and social media. The project’s results will provide farmers with a comparative analysis that will determine the most effective and cost-efficient treatment for a highly prevalent disease.
Project objectives from proposal:
- Evaluate and compare effectiveness of preventing powdery mildew
- Evaluate the cost efficiency of each treatment
- Compare yield along with plant and fruit health
- Share finding with farmer via conference, farm demonstration and social media