Why the need for a review?
Recent losses of effective spray products, particularly close to harvest, have made it increasingly difficult for growers to gain control of downy mildew in blackberry. AHDB commissioned a desk study to review novel and alternative approaches, which might be relied on in future.
- All forms of protected cropping will reduce leaf wetness and minimise infection.
- Before establishing a new crop, choose a site that avoids natural sources of infection, maximises light interception and maintains good air movement.
- Reduce relative humidity in protected crops to below 85%. This can be achieved by reducing weed growth, maintaining adequate venting and where necessary, using air fans in glasshouse crops to improve air movement.
- Manage nitrogen and other nutrition carefully to avoid excessive vegetative growth.
- Photoselective polythene to alter the wavelength of light reaching the crop could affect the infection rate, but this requires further study.
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