New downy mildew control option in lettuces

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Growers of protected and indoor lettuces now have the flexibility to use an alternative fungicide for the control of downy mildew (Bremia lactucae).

Ian Gillott, independent vegetable consultant, explains that an Extension of Authorisation for Minor Use (EAMU) has been granted for the use of Karma (potassium hydrogen carbonate) on this important crop.

“This is good news for lettuce growers. Downy mildew is a big problem for the sector. Once the disease has taken hold it can brand entire crops unsalable, which ultimately has devastating consequences for growers. Therefore, managing the risk of the disease is vital to ensure these adverse effects are not seen.

“Growers of fresh vegetables and salads are constantly looking for alternative ways of controlling crop pests and maintaining crop yields. Therefore, the authorisation of this EAMU for Karma to control downy mildew is very positive news,” he says.

Karma, a fully registered plant protection product, is specifically formulated to deliver a low residue risk; short harvest interval; and eradicant activity. “For fast growing edible crops, the fact that Karma only has a one day harvest interval and has no issue surrounding maximum reside levels will resonate with growers.”

The label states that for use of Karma on indoor and protected lettuces, the maximum individual dose is 3kg/ha. Growers can make a maximum of eight applications per crop per year providing the maximum total dose of 24kg/ha/crop isn’t exceeded.

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