Storms: Planning for more than just your chips

Thursday, June 22, 2023


It may seem early to start thinking about downy mildew or some of those other nasty fungal pathogens that are sure to be coming our way soon. However, as storm systems make their way up the Eastern Seaboard they usually bring spores with them from diseased fields all along the coast. In addition to transporting spores to our province they usually provide ideal conditions for fungi to colonize plants as these systems often bring with them sustained wet, cool, and humid conditions.

Downy mildew was positively identified in New Jersey last week and while it doesn’t look like storm Bret and the newly developing storm Cindy will be tracking over Nova Scotia anymore, it’s important to monitor systems coming up the Eastern Seaboard to correctly time preventative fungicide sprays and other IPM techniques such as trapping and scouting for new pests and ensuring physical barriers such as insect netting are in place as needed.

Over the last 2 years downy mildew has become a serious problem for cucurbit growers here as it is devastating when it gets a foothold in your field. Over the last 2 years both of the first confirmed occurrences in Nova Scotia happened in August, however, we need to be prepared for earlier occurrences as it is only one storm system away once it is detected along the eastern U.S coast. Along with fungal spores, these systems can bring with them novel insect pests to be mindful of as well.

Please reach out to your commodity support specialists if you have any disease or pest concerns!

Click here for excellent information on effective disease management, fundamentals of fungicides, herbicides and using weather stations for decision making on your farm

here for more information on downy mildew in Nova Scotia