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Managing powdery mildew in top fruit

Although cold weather has delayed spring activity in many UK orchards, planning should start now for powdery mildew control later in the season, according to Charlie Dunn from Chandler and Dunn, a farming and fruit growing company in Kent.

Although cold weather has delayed spring activity in many UK orchards, planning should start now for powdery mildew control later in the season, according to Charlie Dunn from Chandler and Dunn, a farming and fruit growing company in Kent.

"Powdery mildew is a disease that affects most UK orchards. If left untreated or not properly managed, powdery mildew can decimate orchards, having a knock-on effect on yield and fruit quality.

"As the risk of resistance continues to build, implementing an Integrated Crop Management (ICM) strategy will be crucial to protect the limited armoury available."

Below are Charlie's five steps for powdery mildew control as part of an anti-resistance strategy:

Plan ahead

Have a well-thought out and practical crop management plan – know your orchards and be aware of any problem areas.

Variety

Allow for use of multiple actives when fighting fungal diseases, rather than relying solely on one product. This is essential to help protect the chemistry of our products.

Timing

Timing is everything – understanding the product you’re applying and the timing of application is crucial to ensure efficacy.

Keep records
Utilise systems such as Gatekeeper, keep good orchard notes and continually monitor levels of disease through close attention to detail.

Aim for year-round crop health
Orchard hygiene and good plant husbandry is essential to prevent future infections.