IPM Research in Turkish Tomato Fields Shows Importance of Fungicide Sprays

Tomatoes are a major vegetable crop grown in Turkey with an annual production of about 10 million tons. Fresh market tomatoes account for 80% of production while canned, dried and paste products from Turkey’s 55 tomato processing plants account for the remaining 20%. Late blight is a devastating disease of tomatoes for which Turkish farmers typically spray twice a season. However, IPM research has shown that 5 carefully-timed applications are much more productive.

“In 1997, Phytophthora infestans (Late Blight) caused an epidemic and great crop losses, especially in the Marmara and Trakya regions. Turkey, as a tomato paste producer, had to import tomato paste to satisfy the contracted commitments. IPM studies were conducted by Ege University, Faculty of Agriculture and Department of Plant Protection in Marmara Region (Bursa) during the years 2000-2005.”

“In all IPM programs, a total of 5 fungicide applications were made depending on which IPM program was followed. … The grower’s standard had two fungicide applications when first symptoms appeared. All of the IPM weather timed spray programs increased marketable tomato yields resulting in higher net economic returns to the farmer. The growers recognized how poorly their standard spray program yielded, resulting in lost income to their farm operation.”

Authors: H. Saygili, N. Tosun and H. Türküsay.
Affiliation: Ege University, Faculty of Agriculture, Izmir-Bornova, Turkey
Title: Integrated Disease Management in Processing Tomato in Turkey
Publication: Acta Horticulturae. 2007. 758.

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Consumer Expectations for High Quality Lettuce Require Insecticide Use

Fresh market lettuce production in the desert growing areas of Southern California and Arizona is a billion dollar industry and the region annually produces >95% of the leafy vegetables consumed in the U.S. in the fall and winter months. Consumers desire lettuce without any blemishes or insect damage. Consumer standards result in the annual use of insecticides on the lettuce crop as described by Arizona entomologists John Palumbo and Steve Castle…

“In desert vegetable production systems, growers have been delivering high-quality safe produce to the fresh market for decades, and this has been accomplished almost exclusively through the use of insecticides.”

“…western lettuce growers and consultants have reported that chemical control is the only effective IPM tactic available for the control of most major insect pests. Naturally occurring biotic control agents are simply not capable of providing the level of crop protection necessary for meeting the marketing demands for fresh produce. … Because of the short time these crops are in the field, minor feeding activity may render the product unmarketable because of high consumer standards.”

“More recently, the fresh produce industry has experienced significant growth in the value-added market, where lettuce and other leafy greens are prepared and sold as fresh-cut lettuce packs and ready-to-eat, bagged salad mixes. The growth of this industry has also resulted in higher cosmetic standards for leafy vegetable crops, often to the point where virtually no insect contaminants or feeding blemishes are tolerated.”

Authors: John C. Palumbo and Steve J. Castle
Affiliation: University of Arizona Department of Entomology
Title: IPM for fresh-market lettuce production in the desert southwest: the produce paradox
Publication: Pest Management Science (2009) 65:1311-1320.