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Anthracnose Confirmed on Strawberry Fruit and Free Fungicide Resistance Testing

We confirmed anthracnose on strawberry fruit a couple of days ago in a northern Georgia location.  The recent warm, moist conditions have been obviously acceptable for anthracnose development, and with rain splash, anthracnose can rapidly infect strawberries throughout a planting.  Though it has been dry in some parts of the state, I would still scout for anthracnose on the berries.  If it is present, these berries should be removed from the field and destroyed. Though most berries will be of no consequence relative production at this time, the infected berries will serve as a source of inoculum this spring.  If anthracnose is confirmed now, I would recommend more captan applications prior to bloom to suppress the pathogen, especially if warm conditions continue.  If cold, anthracnose will not infect. Once blooms start, I would recommend a high risk anthracnose management program (if anthracnose is currently confirmed). Recommendations for anthracnose management can be found in the strawberry IPM guide at www.smallfruits.org.  Maintain a vigilant spray program while also scouting for infected berries this year.

Dark anthracnose spots observed on strawberry fruit.

If you are observing anthracnose on strawberry at any time this year, there are a couple of things you can do that would be helpful relative this crop and future crops.  For both of these items, the information or samples would go to Dr. Natalia Peres in Florida.  She is determining whether the plant source is important to anthracnose issues (e.g. coming in with nursery plants) and/or whether strobilurin fungicide (Abound, Pristine, etc.) resistance is an issue.

Two things: (1) find out the source of the plants and (2) send diseased strawberries (individually sealed in ziplock bags and packed appropriately for travel) to Natalia in Florida.  Please provide a note with the cultivar, nursery source (very important), and what fungicides were sprayed during the last month. For strawberry anthracnose samples, it would be best to wrap individual symptomatic strawberries in dry paper towels that are then placed in individual plastic bags (ziplock sandwich bags or something of that nature).  This will keep individual berries from rotting together, while also keeping the fungal samples from mixing – possibly giving a false reading.  Try to collect as many as 10 berries.  Overnight shipping is preferred, as the berries are less likely to break down prior to delivery. Your local county agent has been provided with a Fedex number that will allow shipment to Dr. Peres at no cost to you, and they can help you with coordinating this shipment.  Prior to shipment, it would be good to communicate with Natalia to let her know to expect a sample.

Here is her mailing address and contact information:

Natalia A. Peres

University of Florida, GCREC

14625 County Road 672

Wimauma, FL  33598

(813) 633-4133

 

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About Phil Brannen

Phil Brannen is a Professor in the Plant Pathology Department at the University of Georgia. He attended the University of Georgia for his undergraduate degree in Plant Protection and Pest Management, where he also received an M.S. in Plant Pathology, followed by a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Auburn University. He has extensive experience with disease management programs in numerous cropping systems. He serves as the extension fruit pathologist for Georgia – conducting research and technology transfer for multiple fruit commodities. His efforts are directed towards developing IPM practices to solve disease issues and technology transfer of disease-management methods to commercial fruit producers. He also teaches the graduate level Field Pathology Course, the History of Plant Diseases and their Impact on Human Societies Course, team-teaches the IPM Course, coordinates the Viticulture and Enology in the Mediterranean Region Course (Cortona, Italy), and guest lectures in numerous other courses throughout the year.