The spring started wet for most produce auction growers, and for many, it stayed that way until October. This, combined with the hotter and more humid weather, led to some common disease and weed problems. Which led to some growers confirming that they coulda, shoulda or woulda done more, if only they had known. Here’s 3 examples to consider.
Anthracnose of tomato took top honors as more troublesome than normal. It got off to a strong start with the wet weather and benefits from the disease presence of Early Blight, which started early, possibly activated by the warm breezy weather in late March/early April. A common name for Anthracnose is ‘ripe rot’. So what coulda you done woulda you known? Apply protective fungicides early and maintain those season long. And once it’s present, you shoulda picked the fruit a little less ripe.
We confirmed some root or stem rots, two being Fusarium Stem Rot on bell peppers and Southern Blight on Tomato. Coulda you done anything? Probably not. Locations were usually in low spots of the field and following excessive rain.
Foliar diseases of tomato– why don’t I get control like I used to? I got this question several times. Unfortunately several growers acknowledged they really haven’t been rotating away from previous plantings like they woulda or shoulda like to! Cultural management says to not plant back to the same ground for a minimum of 3 years (Bacterial Speck) and up to a maximum of 5 years (Early Blight).
REVISED: December 3, 2015