University of Vermont

An Integrated System for Improving Alfalfa Longevity Stressed by Clover Root Benefits Assessment of Fungicide Usage for Management of Foliar Diseases in Alfalfa

Alan Gotlieb, Sid Bosworth and John Aleong, Extension Professor of plant pathology, Associate extension professor of agronomy, professor of statistics, and research technician, Plant and Soil Science Department, University of Vermont,; Lanny Rhodes, Ohio State Univ; Forrest Nutter, Iowa State Univ;  Craig Grau, University of Wisconsin

Duration:  1995 - 1997

This study is part of a four state project (Ohio, Wisconsin, Vermont and Iowa) with the primary goal being to fill the knowledge gaps needed to accurately anticipate the impacts of pesticide control policies concerning the use of fungicides on alfalfa production at the farm, state, regional, and national levels.  Specifically, these knowledge gaps pertain to the need for credible, quantitative information concerning:  (i) fungicide efficacy in alfalfa production, (ii) geographical, time-series data affect on  prevalence, incidence, and severity of foliar pathogens, (iii) yield (and yield loss) data for different scenarios of fungicide input, and (iv) economic impact analyses in relation to fungicide usage, non-usage, and the alternatives used to manage foliar diseases of alfalfa in the U.S.  Thus, this study will provide time-series data (i.e., year-to-year variation) concerning the prevalence, incidence, and severity of foliar diseases and their effects on forage yield.  This will allow us to generate probability estimates of disease outbreaks which will identify high risk production areas where the use of fungicides may be required to optimize net return to the grower.  We are now analyzing the third year of data from this study  and will  combine and analyze regional results this year.   For Vermont, yield was occasionally increased with the use of  four different fungicides during the second and third growth periods.  It doe not appear that disease conditions are predictable enough to use an IPM procedure to determine the benefit of spraying prior to application.  The analysis of this data for regional impact is in progress.   Varietal  resistance may be the most important method of controlling these diseases.

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Last modified May 26 2004 12:55 PM

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