Science Into Practice - Downy mildew control in basil

PE 024 -- Basil: Improving knowledge and control of downy mildew in protected and outdoor crops.

Approximately 30ha of sweet basil is grown in the UK with about 25% produced under protected conditions. The estimated crop value is "in the order of tens of millions of UK sterling".

Downy mildew in basil is a devastating disease caused by the plant pathogen Peronospora belbahrii, first reported in UK-grown sweet basil in 2010. Outbreaks can cause more than 80% crop loss in field and protected production, with associated financial loss and disruption to the supply chain.

AHDB project PE 024 explored basil downy mildew biology and control options for growers. The work suggested that where the downy mildew pathogen is detected in seed it is carried internally rather than as an external contaminant.

Five products identified with potential to control basil downy mildew were further examined to determine the most appropriate time between fungicide applications. The project found that using Paraat (dimethomorph), Fenomenal (fenamidone + fosetyl-aluminium) (outdoor use only) and Revus (mandipropamid) provided good protection when applied up to 10 days prior to infection. Fubol Gold (metalaxyl-M + mancozeb) failed to control the disease, leading to the discovery that metalaxyl-M resistant isolates of the pathogen are present in the UK.

Growers are urged to regularly monitor crops for disease symptoms, ensure adequate air circulation for protected crops to minimise prolonged periods of leaf wetness, avoid overhead watering, which is likely to aggravate the disease, and consider growing other host crops (agastache, lavender, common sage and catnip) independently of each other. These strategies can lower downy mildew risks and hence associated losses.

For details on all AHDB Horticulture activity, see horticulture.ahdb.org.uk


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Product Special: protected crop structures - LEDs good for business

Product Special: protected crop structures - LEDs good for business

Concerns over climate, light levels and seasonal variability can all be overcome by using LEDs and they can deliver production benefits, Sally Drury reports.

Paeonia

Paeonia

Stocking a wide range of these impressive flowers from early March until June can boost sales, Miranda Kimberley reports.

Winning designs

Winning designs

Student anniversary collaboration generates outstanding work.


Opinion... Why flower shows need to evolve

Opinion... Why flower shows need to evolve

While the number of regional flower shows at stately homes and municipal public areas grows, the number of nurseries trading at these events reduces.

Opinion... Standardisation good for the trade

Opinion... Standardisation good for the trade

Horticulture could benefit from streamlining in the supply chain.

Opinion... Get rid of plastics in Horticulture

Opinion... Get rid of plastics in Horticulture

Blue Planet II eloquently showed the rich tapestry of life in the oceans. It also focused public awareness on plastic pollution damaging wildlife.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 60 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive ranking of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover. 

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles