Growing fruit, nuts, and hops in Ohio is not without its challenges. Diseases (and insect pests) are consistently reported to be the top challenge facing specialty crop growers in Ohio. There are many resources available to growers to help with making important decisions about disease management. On this site we provide resources for fruit trees, small fruit, nuts, and hops. Many of the recommended resources on this site are published by The Ohio State University. However there are also many excellent resources from other academic institutions, some of which I have included on this site. This resource page is divided into five sections including Spray Guides and Resistance Management, Factsheets, Home Disease Management, Presentations, and Technology.
All spray programs should be designed to enhance an integrated disease management program. Very rarely do chemicals alone prevent or slow disease to a level that minimizes economic losses. There is no single chemical that is effective against all diseases, which means that a combination of products in a spray program is necessary to optimize disease management. The fruit pathology program publishes a spray guide for grape, hop, and blueberry. These guides are updated annually if there is a high demand for the guide; always select the most current guide. The fungicides listed in these guides are recommendations only and do not include all of the fungicides currently registered for each crop.
A spray program should be thoughtfully developed to prevent and slow the development of fungicide or antibiotic resistant pathogens in the planting. There is information in each guide on how to develop a program with resistance management in mind. There are no commercial laboratories that screen pathogens for fungicide or antibiotic resistance. If you suspect that resistant fungi or bacteria are present in the planting please contact Dr. Melanie Lewis Ivey for assistance in confirming resistance and developing an alternative spray program to slow or prevent additional resistance development.
In addition to the guides published by the OSU fruit pathology program, links to the Midwest Fruit Pest Management Guide and other spray guides published by academic institutions are provided on the Spray Guide page.
According to Wikipedia factsheets are “a presentation of data in a format which emphasizes key points concisely, usually using tables, bullet points and/or headings, on a single printed page.” Presenting factual, science-based information on a single page is no easy task, especially for complex topics such as crop diseases. While the majority of factsheets published by the fruit pathology program are two pages or more they are chocked full of information that will help you identify the disease, understand some of the biology of the pathogen that causes the disease, and make management decisions to limit crop losses. Factsheets are available for the most common diseases impacting fruit, nut and hop production in Ohio. Copies of many of the factsheets are also available at your county Extension Office.
Home Disease Management Series
There is probably nothing more frustrating for a home gardener than to see the fruits of his or her labors lost to diseases. Prevention is the key to disease management in the home garden. There are several disease management options for the home apple grower that have minimal impact on the growing environment yet help to maintain a healthy crop. The home disease management series provides homeowners with images and descriptions of the most common diseases affecting fruit crops in the home garden and strategies to prevent and control these diseases. The series currently includes grape and apple disease management.
As the state Extension Fruit pathologist Dr. Lewis Ivey presents research updates, fruit disease management recommendations, pesticide updates and Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) to producers in the state. Many of these presentations can be downloaded from this site.
Technology solutions to diagnose and manage plant diseases is critical to the future of sustainable and economical disease management. The fruit and vegetable pathology programs at Ohio State University provides disease diagnostics services to commercial fruit and vegetable growers in the state. Diseases are diagnosed using traditional and state fo the art technologies. Plant disease forecasting systems can be used by growers to support the decision making process with regards to the costs and benefits of pesticide applications. The principle behind plant disease forecasting systems is to determine the risk that a disease will occur, or that the intensity of the disease will increase. Disease forecasting systems for apple scab, fire blight, sooty botch and fly speck, and grape diseases are available. The Network for Environment and Weather Applications or NEWA is an on-line resource that uses weather data and disease forecasting systems to advance integrated pest management (IPM) and best management practices for agricultural.
CFAES provides research and related educational programs to clientele on a nondiscriminatory basis. For more information, visit cfaesdiversity.osu.edu. For an accessible format of this publication, visit cfaes.osu.edu/accessibility.