On this episode of the Farmer’s Inside Track, we’re joined by Simon Lowe, technical advisor at AECI Plant Health, who explains how farmers can deal with downy mildew on broccoli and cauliflower.
According to Lowe, downy mildew is a water mould that destroys plant foliage.
“[It] spreads from infected plants. The disease can overwinter (live through the winter) on host crops, wheat, and plant debris,” he explains.
“The fungus grows best when temperatures range between 10 to 15 degrees Celsius, and then any extended period of damp weather is required to initiate an outbreak of downy mildew.”
How to prevent downy mildew
To prevent downy mildew, Lowe says that it is important for farmers to inspect the leaves of their crops for lesions.
He explains that the earliest symptoms of the diseases manifests as lesions on the leaves, which may sometimes progress to become large, irregular, and numerous lesions.
However, there’s good news. It can be managed by applying fungicide to the leaves as well as to other plants that are already contaminated.
Lowe says If you do happen to eat crops that have been infected with powdery mildew, there’s usually nothing to worry about.
“In some cases, an allergic reaction can occur so it’s not advisable to eat them. The disease can reduce the taste or the nutrients within the crop, so normally it’s also not advisable for livestock.”
On the episode, Lowe also talks about:
- How temperature impacts the growth of downy mildew;
- Dealing with downy mildew for broccoli and cauliflower; and
- How to prevent downy mildew in your crops.
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