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Blue mold poses threat to local tobacco crop

Blue mold poses threat to local tobacco crop

By Blake Jackson

The Pennsylvania tobacco industry faces a heightened risk from Blue Mold, a highly contagious fungal disease. This pathogen can rapidly spread within greenhouses (float-houses) and across fields, potentially causing significant damage to both the quality and yield of your crop.

Blue Mold thrives in moist conditions, making close monitoring of your crop crucial. Regularly scout shaded and low-lying areas within fields, as these locations are particularly susceptible, especially for younger, more vulnerable plants.

Float-house growers should prioritize a consistent fungicide spray schedule using Mancozeb (brand name: Manzate) for Blue Mold control. Field growers have a wider selection of options, including products containing Dimethomorph (brand name: Forum) or Mancozeb (various brands). Additional labeled fungicides include Quadris, Actiguard, Presidio, Revus, and Orondis.

Proactive Approach for Optimal Results: Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Apply fungicides before any signs of Blue Mold appear, as they offer the most effective protection.

Important Application Considerations:

  • Do not apply Forum (Dimethomorph) alone. Always combine it with Mancozeb to prevent the development of resistant Blue Mold strains.
  • Rotate fungicides with other labeled products. This strategy helps maintain long-term efficacy.
  • Always meticulously follow all label instructions for any pesticide you use.

For further assistance with Blue Mold control and prevention strategies, consult your local tobacco buying representative. Additionally, the Lancaster Leaf Tobacco hotline (717-239-4414) provides updated information on crop conditions and best practices.

By taking proactive measures and staying informed, you can safeguard your tobacco crop from the damaging effects of Blue Mold.

Photo Credit: istock-infrontphoto

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Categories: Pennsylvania, Crops, Tobacco

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