For the past two seasons, specialists with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and Spornado, an Ontario-based company which conducts air monitoring for crop diseases, have been working on an Ontario Agri-Food Research Initiative (OAFRI)-funded project in apple with the support of the Ontario Apple Growers Association. The focus of this project was air monitoring for Venturia inaequalis, the fungal pathogen that causes apple scab to develop molecular tests for rapid detection and the molecular identification of fungicide resistance in the airborne spores.
This is particularly important since the availability of effective scab fungicides has become limited in recent years due to Health Canada re-evaluations. These tests could provide information that would allow growers to better choose and time fungicide applications. This could reduce unnecessary sprays, allowing growers to save fungicides for when they are truly needed and also promote environmental stewardship by reducing pesticide load. |READ MORE
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