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Comparative Studies on the Effect of Adjuvants with Urea to Reduce the Overwintering Inoculum of Venturia inaequalis

Beckerman, Janna, Abbott, Chelsi
Plant disease 2019 v.103 no.3 pp. 531-537
Venturia inaequalis, adjuvants, ascospores, growers, inoculum, leaves, orchards, overwintering, pathogens, plant litter, sanitation, surfactants, urea
A 2-year study on the use of organic and conventional adjuvants alone, or mixed with urea, was conducted for management of overwintering inoculum of the apple scab pathogen, Venturia inaequalis. Select adjuvants (LI 700, Bond Max, Latron B-1956, and Organic Wet Betty [OWB]) have the potential to hasten urea-driven leaf litter decomposition and reduce V. inaequalis overwintering inoculum comparable to urea, and that one organic surfactant could perform the same level of leaf decomposition as urea. Combinations of adjuvants with urea significantly improved leaf litter degradation compared with urea alone, concomitant with reducing the number of pseudothecia present and pseudothecium fertility. We demonstrate that the combination of urea with Bond Max or OWB reduced pseudothecia fertility and ascospore production to less than 5% in the remaining pseudothecia, a significantly greater reduction than with urea alone. These results suggest that conventional growers combine urea with Bond Max or OWB to more effectively reduce overwintering inoculum, and that the adjuvant OWB can provide organic growers with comparable performance to urea used in conventional orchards for improved sanitation.