Use of biofungicides to address conventional Botrytis blight control challenges in wild blueberry production

D.C. Percival, J. Abbey, H. Lu, L. Harris
Botrytis blossom blight has become the most widespread and damaging disease affecting wild blueberries in Atlantic Canada with over 20% crop losses reported. Field trials were conducted during 2015 to reduce the dependency upon conventional fungicides through the incorporation of biofungicides into a floral blight management program. Fungicides including Fracture® (Blande de Lupinus Albus Doce, BLAD) and Serenade Max® (Bacillus subtilis) were evaluated alone and in rotation with Switch® against Botrytis blossom blight in June, 2015. Three applications (3 Fracture®, 3 Serenade Max®, Fracture®-Switch®-Fracture®, Serenade Max®-Switch®-Serenade Max®, Fontelis®-Switch®-Pristine®) of the products were made at 7-10 day intervals. Biofungicide applications at the onset and end of the Botrytis blossom blight infection window period combined with an application of the conventional fungicide Switch® during peak Botrytis pressures controlled Botrytis blossom blight as well as the conventional fungicide program. Using Fracture® in this rotational pattern also provided control of Septoria leaf spot. There were no significant differences in harvestable berry yield between the conventional fungicide control program and the Fracture® and Serenade Max® fungicide treatments that were applied in rotation with Switch®. Therefore, results from this study have indicated that Botrytis blossom blights can be adequately controlled and fungicide usage reduced when biofungicides are integrated and used in tandem with conventional fungicides.
Percival, D.C., Abbey, J., Lu, H. and Harris, L. (2017). Use of biofungicides to address conventional Botrytis blight control challenges in wild blueberry production. Acta Hortic. 1180, 241-248
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1180.32
Vaccinium angustifolium Ait., reduce risk integrated disease management

Acta Horticulturae