Early botrytis action urged for berry regime

Experts are reminding strawberry growers to start botrytis control regimes when the plants are flowering.

Bayer CropScience's horticultural specialist Peter Newman said: "Flowering is the critical time for action. Establishing a firm foundation with (the fungicide) Teldor (fenhexamid), followed by a robust alternating fungicide programme allows the use of bio-controls close to harvest."

East Malling Research' fruit pathologist Angela Berrie agreed. "Starting early with botrytis control using Teldor gives a good foundation to control this disease and produces quality fruit with minimal risk of residues. Use Teldor early and then use bio-controls near to harvest."

Botrytis has the potential to develop resistance to new fungicides relatively quickly so growers are also being advised to pursue a resistance management strategy - alternating botryticides with different classes of chemistry.

Growers could, for example, alternate Teldor - an hydroxyanilide - with products containing an anilide and/or anilinopyrimidine chemical.

Newman said: "The duration of the need for protection for everbearers makes Teldor the ideal candidate to use from the start of programmes at first flower (white bud) and then again at intervals in alternation with other products. This fits well with IPM enabling integration of biocontrols later on."

Teldor's product label permits up to four treatments per year and advises that to minimise the likelihood of resistance developing no more than two sprays should be applied consecutively within a programme.

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