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2010 Annual Report

UC Statewide IPM Program

Fire blight Fire blight canker. Photo by J. K. Clark

UC IPM releases new disease risk tool

A new Web tool is making it easier for growers and pest control consultants to assess the risk of fire blight to apples and pears, an important disease in California. The online program presents the potential for fire blight infection using two science-based models and weather data stored in the UC IPM database.

The degree-hour model helps growers know whether they need to treat, and if so, how to effectively time fungicide sprays. The model assesses whether recent temperature and rainfall conditions are right for growth and infection by the Erwinia amylovora bacteria, which causes the disease.

The mean air temperature model uses daily air temperatures to predict colonization of blossoms by the bacterium. It also gives information about whether—and when—to treat, based on biology of the bacteria and weather data.

Broc Zoller of The Pear Doctor Inc. developed the degree-hour model, and Zoller and UC Cooperative Extension Advisor Rachel Elkins worked with UC IPM Programmer Buz Dreyer to create the online version of the fire blight tool.

Access the fire blight models under Interactive Tools and Models on the UC IPM Web site.

Next article >> Project offers advice on mitigating pesticides in runoff

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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