Alternaria leaf blight is the most common foliar disease of carrot. Under optimal conditions, severe foliar epidemics rapidly develop, leading to loss of foliage and reduced yields. Alternaria also indirectly reduces yields by interfering with mechanical carrot harvests. Leaves weakened by blight break off when gripped by a mechanical harvester and the roots are left behind in the ground.
“Because high humidity and frequent rainfall or irrigation is common during the growing season, yield-threatening foliar blights are a recurring problem for carrots. …Michigan growers harvest carrots mechanically and weakened foliage can disrupt harvest due to carrot tops breaking off during lifting. In situations where foliar disease is severe and not controlled, the tops may be compromised to the extent that the crop cannot be harvested. Therefore, fungicides currently play a critical role in the management of foliar diseases.”
Author: Hausbeck, M.K.
Affiliation: Michigan State University, Department of Plant Pathology
Title: Carrot Disease Update
Source: Carrot Country. 2012. Summer:6-8.