A lab in Florida has confirmed that the Neopestalotiopsis we are observing in the one Georgia site mentioned in the last post is in fact the pathogenic strain. This matches the fact that the disease has spread rapidly in the field and is causing significant damage. Again, be on the lookout for this disease — especially if you obtained plants from nurseries that are known to harbor the pathogen or if you had issues with the disease last year. Thiram and Switch are the only fungicides that have activity to date, so early incorporation of these fungicides is encouraged if the disease is observed. In addition, removal of symptomatic leaves and plants may slow down the epidemic, but we do not have good information to say that this would be cost effective. Any tissues that are rogued from the field will need to be removed from the field and destroyed. Dumping the diseased leaves and plants anywhere outside the field will simply establish a wild population of the pathogen in weeds, and this will allow for reentry in years to come.

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