Alternaria leaf blight, caused by the fungus Alternaria dauci, andCercospora leaf spot, caused by the fungus Cercospora carotae, infect leaves and petioles of carrot and are the most prevalent foliar diseases of carrot worldwide. These foliar blight pathogens reduce yield by limiting the plant’s photosynthetic capacity and by weakening the petioles needed for mechanical harvest. Typically, carrots are harvested by implements that loosen the soil and simultaneously grasp the foliage while lifting the roots out of the soil; blighted petioles break when gripped by the mechanical harvester and carrots are left in the soil. Environmental conditions greatly influence the occurrence and progression of these foliar diseases of carrot and the anticipation of heightened disease risk through the identification and monitoring of critical environmental factors, such as, relative humidity and temperature, can enhance disease management by optimizing the timing of fungicide applications. However, implementation of the weather-based models is difficult because, typically, each field requires a customized forecast that is dependent on disease severity, weather conditions, and fungicide program, factors that are field-specific. A goal of this research is to provide a set of generalized recommendations for managing foliar diseases of carrot that can be used for the majority of WI fields without the need for grower investment in weather stations.
Soil Science Extension
University of Wisconsin Madison