Advancing Disease Management Tools for Fusarium Wilt of Lettuce
Since 2015, The Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture (YCEDA) has managed Fusarium wilt of lettuce field trials evaluating commercial and pre-commercial lettuce cultivars for resistance to Fusarium wilt, chemical and biological crop protection products for disease suppressing activity, and cultural management methods. A greater understanding of disease management has been gained from these trials, and this project will continue to collect these important data. Additional trials will be conducted to build on and expand on what has been learned by increasing the number of cultivars, crop protection products, and cultural methods tested.
The impact of Fusarium wilt of lettuce was severe in 2018 and lettuce producers have expressed increased concern about future productivity. Dr. Stephanie Slinski, YCEDA's Associate Director of Applied Research and Development, has been working with growers and researchers to evaluate promising ideas in the fight against Fusarium wilt. This project has integrated some of these new ideas including improving evaluation methods by adding a disease severity rating; evaluations of the soil populations of Fusarium oxysporium f.sp. lactucae, the causal agent of Fusarium wilt of lettuce to corroborate disease severity ratings and a new cultural methods for disease control.