- Vegetables: garlic
- Crop Production: biological inoculants, organic fertilizers, conservation tillage
- Education and Training: demonstration, on-farm/ranch research
- Energy: energy conservation/efficiency
- Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns
- Pest Management: biological control, chemical control, cultural control, genetic resistance, mulches - killed, physical control, mulching - plastic, prevention, weather monitoring
- Production Systems: general crop production
- Soil Management: soil chemistry, soil microbiology, soil physics
Garlic growers across the Northeast report that Fusarium, Botrytis, and viruses affect 5 to 50 percent of their harvest annually, with Fusarium being the primary disease problem. Diseases can result in downgrading of garlic from seed to food grade, in loss of portions of the crop, or in a general reduction of size or yield. Research on field-based garlic diseases and subsequent recommendations to this point have focused on arid production regions. Our regular precipitation and cold, wet winters are unique in garlic production, and necessitate dedicated research and recommendations.
We know that cultural conditions have a tremendous impact on infection rates and severity levels based on watching Fusarium and other diseases fluctuate yearly with the weather and across farms, even when the same seed source is used. In order to determine best practices to reduce Fusarium infection rates and severity, two replicated field trials and an observational field study are proposed. One trial will test the hypothesis that cultural conditions in the field can be changed to affect disease infection rates and severity on garlic. Controls to be evaluated include the use of raised beds, plastic and organic mulches, varieties, and timing of planting. The second trial will test the hypothesis that Fusarium disease progression is affected by nitrogen fertility and inoculum source. Finally, the observational study will determine trends in inoculum source and examine the species variability of Fusarium in the Northeast by accepting 40 unique soil/seed samples per year and a series of samples from “Fusarium positive” farms to study disease progression.
Research will be paired with education and outreach to expand general knowledge of field-based disease identification and best-management practices; sources of disease inoculum; and cultural practices which can reduce field-based disease severity. This information will be compiled for Fusarium, Botrytis, and virus diseases, and will be presented through newsletters, field meetings, and winter meetings.
Based on these efforts, 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.
Performance targets from proposal:
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.