Timely analysis saves fruit from mold
Guido Schnabel: Grey mold in South Carolina is a huge problem. A lot of growers experience pre-harvest and post-harvest fruit rot. Growers are forced to spray fungicides in order to control fruit rot. And the fungus has developed resistance to a lot of those chemicals that are being applied. Grey mold can significantly reduce the yield that a farmer might get out of his acreage. There might be as much as fifty percent fruit loss in a year where environmental conditions are conducive for disease development. We are collecting samples of the pathogen that causes grey mold from grower's fields. We are analyzing those samples in the lab and within three days get back to the grower and tell him exactly what fungicides are still working for him. This location specific resistance monitoring program that we have established not only helps the grower choose the best fungicide for his operation, but it also saves him money because he does not spray something that does not work and the strawberries are lasting longer on the customer's kitchen counter because of the higher efficacy.