In specialty crops, product quality is king. What happens when routine production tactics that influence quality, such as disease management, stop working?
This situation has become reality in grape (wine, table, raisin) production in the USA, where control failures of powdery mildew (Erysiphe necator) have recently occurred. Many factors can influence the effectiveness of a disease management program, but fungicide resistance is the most feared. There is currently no effective system to monitor or predict fungicide resistance; it is usually identified after a management failure.
Through this project’s proposed research and extension efforts, we will empower growers with data and predictive tools on the potential for fungicide resistance development. These will be coupled with improved approaches to managing and mitigating resistance development, allowing them to design and implement fungicide resistance stewardship programs. We will develop rapid monitoring technology and the implementation programs for diagnostic labs. Our approach will enable growers, consultants, extension, chemical manufacturers and resellers to engage in developing stewardship programs to protect at-risk fungicides.
This FRAME Network (Fungicide Resistance Assessment, Mitigation and Extension Network) will develop tools that can be applied to other specialty crops facing fungicide resistance challenges. The integration of this project’s objectives address:
- Where fungicide resistance is currently;
- Improve how we detect and monitor fungicide resistance and improve application efficiency;
- Predict where and when fungicide resistance will arise; and
- Develop strategies that help growers, educators, and manufactures answer what they need to do to mitigate resistance development and manage resistance that has already developed.