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Vegetable IPM Updates Archive
Cooperative Extension
Downy Mildew (Feb. 23, 2011)

Rainfall amounts recorded on Saturday, Feb 19 were 0.38, 0.46, and 0.14 inches at the AZMET (Arizona Meteorological Network) stations at the Yuma Agricultural Center, North Gila, and Roll locations, respectively. Furthermore, high relative humidity levels in the morning exceeding 90% have been recorded for at least 3 days following this rainfall event. These environmental conditions plus the current presence of lettuce downy mildew in the southwest desert vegetable production region strongly suggest further development of the disease in the future. To obtain the highest level of disease containment, application of fungicides should begin before the actual appearance of downy mildew lesions on lettuce plants. There is a lag time between infection by the pathogen (Bremia lactucae) and appearance of visible symptoms. This incubation period can range from 3 days to longer than a week, depending on temperature, relative humidity, and susceptibility of the lettuce variety. By the time lettuce downy mildew lesions are observed, many more are likely present but have not matured to a sufficient extent to be visible. Data from trials conducted on lettuce downy mildew for the past two years at the Yuma Agricultural Center demonstrated that disease severity could be reduced from 70 to 86%, compared to untreated plants, with treatment programs containing Acrobat, Aliette, Curzate, Presidio, Previcur Flex, Prophyt, Revus, and Tanos. If a lettuce downy mildew fungicide trial now in progress is successful, we will have efficacy data for many of the individual compounds that can be used within disease management programs. This will allow creation of treatment programs containing the most effective component fungicides, which should maximize overall disease control. For effective resistance management, using compounds with different modes of action within treatment programs is essential.

Downy Mildew on Lettuce (Bremia lactucae)

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For questions or comments on any of the topics please contact Marco Pena at the Yuma Agricultural Center.
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