By Clint Thompson
Florida tomato growers have a new concern with plant disease management this year.
“The big news that we have right now is that we’ve identified a new race of fusarium wilt on tomato that appears to overcome a lot of our sources of resistance that are currently deployed. I’m just trying to get the word out to growers,” said Gary Vallad, professor of plant pathology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Gulf Coast Research and Education Center.
He spoke at the Florida Tomato Conference in LaBelle, Florida, and informed producers of this latest find. Florida growers should be aware about how this new race of fusarium wilt could impact the state’s crop.
“This new race, these isolates that we’ve identified, they appear to be pretty aggressive. This could really have a big impact for growers looking to try to cut back on their fumigation system and relying on resistance; something I’ve been an advocate for, for years now,” Vallad said. “There’s resistance, and we need to utilize it. There are better forms of that resistance. But unfortunately, this new race could really change that.”
The Miravis Prime fungicide is available for use. It showed some efficacy, mostly under artificial conditions. Vallad said his research is centered on examining additional sources of resistance and collaborating with the breeding program at the UF/IFAS.
Gary Vallad is a professor of plant pathology at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Gulf Coast Research and Education Center. To learn more about research going on at the GCREC, join us at the Florida Ag Expo on Nov. 9.