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SIPS pathologist speaks at Mexican conference on disease management in vegetables

-Magdalen Lindeberg

SIPS plant pathologist Meg McGrath recently spoke with researchers, students, and producers at the 3rd International Congress on Plant Protection in Vegetables held in Guadalajara Mexico.  The focus of the Congress is communication of current technologies for diagnosis and integrated management of pests and diseases in horticultural crops to producers, technicians in agrochemical companies, and those responsible for different production systems.

In her talk, “Resistance to fungicides in vegetable pathogens: current situation and strategies for managing”, McGrath emphasized the importance of resistance management – specifically through monitoring and delaying development of resistance by rotating chemistries. Multi-fungicide resistance remains a constant concern, exemplified by cucurbit powdery mildew isolates present on Long Island that are resistant to 6 different fungicide chemistries.

In organic agriculture, disease management relies on an integrated program incorporating the latest understanding of pathogen biology and disease cycles. In her talk, “Options for organic management of diseases in vegetable crops”, McGrath focused on the range of biopesticides now available as alternatives to copper fungicides, the types of active ingredient on which they rely (microbial and naturally-occurring), and where to find information on product efficacy and approved for organic production in the USA.

McGrath is an Associate Professor in the SIPS Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section. Located at the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center (LIHREC) in Riverhead Long Island, her research and extension activities are focused on managing diseases affecting vegetables grown on Long Island within organic and conventional production systems.

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