Yuma PCA Bill Fox says that as more lettuce in Arizona is planted on 84-inch beds the denser eight-row plantings are requiring more fungicides to control diseases such as sclerotinia. Fox said that a label change might be needed to accommodate wider beds as PCAs try to manage pests along a greater crop area with the same rate per acre.
“Last year a couple blocks got away from us with sclerotinia, and I think my rate of product just wasn’t enough to control it,” Fox said. “My same rate on 42 inch beds looked good but when I went and put that same rate on 84 inch beds my control sometimes went south on me.”
Fox said PCAs are going to have to “put their heads together” and figure out something to address coverage and rate of product to accommodate the extra wide bed plantings.
“We’ve got to do something different, I don’t know what it is yet but we’ve got to figure out a better solution, especially for sclerotinia,” he said.