Getting ready for a Florida pecan grower meeting in early September, Tim Brenneman pulled a picture of a nuclear bomb explosion up on his computer screen. Said he was going to start his presentation on the 2013 pecan year with that picture to describe what scab has been this year. “It’s been a nuclear year as far as scab explosion,” said the UGA plant pathologist based in Tifton, Ga.

“A year like this will show weaknesses in the system. I think we do a good job on scab control, but in a year like this one growers can see what isn’t working,” he said.

For example, on his travels around the pecan-growing region in Georgia it is not hard to see how well or bad spray coverage has been for fungicide treatments. Many locations have scab prevalent in the upper canopies where spray booms didn’t reach.

Pecan growers have good chemistries to fight scab with several modes of action, including strobilurin, triazole, triphenyltin hydroxide, organotin. Plus, an old tried-and-true chemistry called dodine is once again working on scab in Georgia, where growers stopped using it many years ago because it had lost some effect on the disease. But it seems to be working again, especially in combination with the other chemistries.

Brenneman is now working with a new chemistry that is not yet labeled for pecans, but he says it “shows great promise” in fighting the disease and hopes it will soon be labeled for pecans.


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