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See detailInnovative strategies for the control of apple scab (Venturia inaequalis [Cke.] Wint.) in organic apple production
Jamar, Laurent ULg

Doctoral thesis (2011)

The aim of this thesis, conducted over six growing seasons (2003-2008), is to define new measures for reducing the use of fungicides and in particular, copper fungicides, for the control of apple scab (V ... [more ▼]

The aim of this thesis, conducted over six growing seasons (2003-2008), is to define new measures for reducing the use of fungicides and in particular, copper fungicides, for the control of apple scab (V. inaequalis) in organic apple production. Special emphasis is put on primary scab infection control during spring season. An original approach is proposed for defining a specific spray timing involving spraying during the infection processes, especially before fungal penetration, determined by the RIMpro software warning system. This ‘during-infection’ spray strategy allows reducing from 30 to 50% the amount of fungicide usually used for effective apple scab control, on high scab-susceptible cultivars. The field study shows that six alternative products (e.g., potassium bicarbonate and lime sulphur), among 60 products tested, have the potential to reduce copper use. However, copper use, even with low doses, seems to be still necessary in presence of scab-susceptible cultivars. The results obtained in these experiments could not be attributed to the specific technical performances of the tunnel sprayer used, which however, offer valuable environmental benefits. On the basis of the present study, the organic management system seems a good farming approach for maintaining soil quality with regard to biological indicators. This work shows and draws attention to the fact that (i) planting cultivars with polygenic scab-resistance traits, (ii) increasing emphasis on sanitation practices aimed at reducing initial inoculum in autumn, and (iii) applying an accurate spray strategy in spring, as defined in the present study, are the three most promising approaches for substantial further reductions in protection products fully compliant with international organic crop production standards. [less ▲]

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