Downy Mildew Still Limited to Cucumber and Cantaloupe Across the Region
Posted: August 24, 2016
Downy mildew continues to be reported primarily on cucumber and to a lesser extent on cantaloupe across the region. The closest reports on jack-o-lantern pumpkin are in western North Carolina and central Kentucky. As the season progresses and the pumpkin fruit ripen, growers can become less concerned about potential economic losses due to downy mildew. Downy mildew does not directly affect the fruit but rather reduces the photosynthetic capacity of the plant which can reduce fruit quality and lead to sunscald as the leaves defoliate. The closer the fruit are to maturity, the less concerned you need to be about downy mildew. On the other hand, powdery mildew can still affect the quality of the handles (making them weak and brown) so continuing with the application of a protectant and getting good coverage on the handles will be important for overall fruit quality and marketability especially if you are planning to hold them until late in the season.
For the latest information on outbreaks and to receive email or text alerts please visit the Cucurbit Downy Mildew Forecasting website. Updates will also be made to the 1-800-PENN-IPM hotline weekly or more frequently if needed to provide growers with information that can be used to help make timely management decisions. The forecasted risk maps are also based on knowing where there are downy mildew infected fields (sources of the pathogen) so it is important if you suspect downy mildew on your farm to let me know either by email or by phone at 814-865-7328 or contact your local Penn State Cooperative Extension Office.
TitleDowny Mildew Still Limited to Cucumber and Cantaloupe Across the Region
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