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Biological control options for fungal infections in horticultural crops

Biological control options for fungal infections in horticultural crops

Biological control options for fungal infections in horticultural crops

Fungal infections come with summer’s warm, wet conditions and are devastating for crops. Botrytis infections in grapes, avocado, pipfruit and vegetables reduces crop yield, and sooty mould causes discolouration in kiwifruit which get rejected at the packhouse.

The biological control of fungal infections relies on colonising the plant with a beneficial microbe such as B. amyloliquefaciens BS-1b. This microbe competes with fungi by both crowding them out and by producing antimicrobial compounds that destroy them.

TripleX®, a certified organic biological control developed by BioStart, suppresses Botrytis in many crops and sooty mould in kiwifruit using B. amyloliquefaciens.

Dr Jerome Demmer, BioStart CEO and Scientist, explains how TripleX works: “Because TripleX is a biological product you need to use a preventative approach which differs from using agrichemicals. You need to compete with the fungi by colonising the plant with beneficial bacteria at the same time as they are establishing their early infections, so timing is important.”

Tips for good fungal control with TripleX:

» Apply with a super-spreader like Du-Wett, so plants get full coverage of the microbes. If rain is imminent, use Du-Wett WeatherMax.

» Clean your spray tank from any chemical residues to avoid killing the active bacteria.

» Apply early morning or late in the day to reduce UV damage to the microbes.

» Additionally, for sooty mould in kiwifruit: Apply TripleX in late December or as early as possible, before passionvine hoppers and cicadas become active, so the beneficial bacteria can get established, and re-apply regularly throughout the season.

» Reduce passionvine hopper and cicada populations on vines and adjacent hedges with appropriate insecticides to remove disease pressure because these insects create the damage that produces honeydew where the sooty mould likes to grow.

TripleX is on the New Zealand Winegrowers Spray Schedule and the Zespri Crop Protection Standard. It’s the only ACVM-registered biofungicide for preventing sooty mould in kiwifruit. Your local Fruitfed Supplies Technical Horticultural Representative can assist with more information.

Supplied by Biostart

ACVM registration number: TripleX® #P008137. Read the registered label before use.