John McLennan, New Zealand

trichoderma

February 25, 2009
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Categories: Basal Rot, Diseases and Pests, Fungus

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Hi  Daffnetters,  The home  block  where  I  grow some of my daffs  has had bulbs  [mainly daffs , a few  gladioli], for over  30 years, frequently with short  rotations between lifting and  replanting.
The replanted stocks , almost always have a very thorough  H W T and are very healthy at planting.However, as my main consideration is a small scale  cut-flower  business, the most  productive crops are from stock that has been planted from 4  to 6  years  —  this gives  taller  stems,  good flowering  density and picking rates.
Also,  importantly for the markets I am aiming for ,the flowering time gets considerably earlier after about year 5.
It is the early birds  [flowers ]  that  get the  worm [money ].
However quite obviously  this  growing  regime  also can be expected to risk  bulb  health problems , which  varies considerably with  different varieties.
For the last 4 years , I have been using Tricho  products of different forms to help with basal  rot  [  fusarium ].
A  N Z  firm  Key  Industries  are  world  leaders in this  research , but not specifically aimed at the  bulb industry and to register products for commercial use is a hughly expensive exercise so no direct  daffodil  claims can be made. However, onions are high on their registration label  claims and they assure  me that similar results can be expected with daffs.
This season I will be using TENET,– a granular  form of Tricho  intended to be sown in the rows  with  onions, aimed at controlling fusarium based white neck rot in onions  and hopefully basal  rot in daffs.
It is moderately priced ??  at about  $ 320  per 25  kilo  bag that will treat  a  hectare  —  more than  my seasons planting.
My  previous  experiments  have not been  controlled  experiments but the results  have been very  encouraging,  the lifted  bulbs  showing  less [ but  still some ]  infection than I would  have expected.
A problem  in using the Tricho  fungi is that  if other  fungisides  are  used to treat – dip the bulbs  they can also  potentially kill the  goodactive  Tricho  fungi  that are hopefully aiming to dine on the  fusarium.
Also the technology  now has isolated different [but  closelyrelated ] strains  of Tricho fungi  for  specificstrains of  Fusarium  and getting the right strain in a suitable  product  type is uncertain.
It is a very  rapidly  advancing  field and I  am sure offers great scope  for  research  on our  favourite flower  —  daffodils. Any  research  money  available  in these rather  uncertain  times.??
A  Google  on  Trichoderma  shows  some  interesting  results.
Also  a Google  on  Nemat/Caliente  199  an  Arugula  —  Mustard  mix  has  interesting  research  from  Washington and Idaho Universities and natural  control – fumigant from these  rotation crops.
Cheers  John
 

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