This is a re-post from 2016 – Late-July to early-August is the key time for powdery mildew management! With any disease, preventative management provides the best control.
Powdery mildew typically arrives in Southern Ontario in mid-to-late July. Plants are most susceptible to infection during the fruit sizing and development. Poor control results in decreased yield and poor fruit quality at harvest. The threshold for treatment is 1 lesions/50 plants. Optimum powdery mildew control is a combination of variety selection, fungicide timing and fungicide selection.
Cheryl Trueman, a vegetable pest management researcher at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus, has been conducting powdery mildew efficacy trials since 2009. In these trials, several products consistently provided good control of powdery mildew. These products are powdery mildew targeted, and have a single site mode of action. To prevent the development of resistance, it is essential to always rotate between different fungicide groups and/or tank mix with a broad spectrum fungicide.
Powdery Mildew Targeted Fungicides Showing Consistent Control in the Ridgetown Field Trials:
Group 13: Quintec (quinoxyfen)
Quintec was the most consistent powdery mildew product tested in Ridgetown. It provided excellent control in 4/5 years and good control in 1/5 years tested.
Group U8: Vivando (metrafenone)
Vivando provided excellent control in 1/3 years and good control in 2/3 years and tested.
Group 7: Fontelis (penthiopyrad), Aprovia (benzovindiflupyr), Sercadis (fluapyroxad) and Pristine (boscalid/pyraclostrobin).
Fontellis was somewhat less consistent. Control with this produce ranged from excellent to poor, depending on the year. It provided excellent control in 1/5 years, good control in 2/5 years and poor control in 2/5 years. Note: Aprovia, Sercadis and Pristine were not tested in the Ridgetown Campus trials.
Group 3: Inspire (difenoconazole), Proline (prothioconazole) and Quadris Top (azoxystrobin/difenoconazole)
Inspire provided a level of control similar to Fontelis; good control in 3/5 years, and poor control in 2/5 years. Proline and Quadris Top were only tested for one year in the Ridgetown trials, in which they both provided good control.
Fungicides containing chlorothalonil (Bravo ZN and Echo) provided a lower level of powdery mildew control, but are still better than the untreated checks. They also control a broad range of other foliar diseases including scab and alternaria.
Research in Ontario and other jurisdictions indicates that the group 11 (QoI) fungicides, Cabrio (pyraclostrobin) and azoxystrobin (a component of Quadris Top) no longer control powdery mildew. However, they may provide control of other cucurbit diseases such as anthracnose and alternaria.