Ontario takes steps to stem Athracnose
June 21, 2005
The following is an excerpt from the Ontario Bean Producers Marketing Board's most recent newsletter:
This newsletter has as its focus the emergence of Anthracnose in Ontario after nearly 20-year dormancy. Last year's weather patterns produced a near "perfect storm" for disease; however a very good September saved the crop and delivered top draw yields as well but much of the crop had a light infection. Regrettably, commercial bean production even from certified or so-called "disease free" seed showed some signs of infection.
Clean seed and proper seed treatment remains the best first line of defense. Foliar fungicides (eg. Headline and Quadris) are an excellent defense or preventative measure against infection during the growing season. These fungicides should be part of a "planned program", particularly on seed bean crops, or crops grown from 2004 Ontario produced seed.
Anthracnose is not easy to identify in the field, but if it is caught early enough, growers have time to make a decision on applying a fungicide. Growers will have to carefully "run the numbers" when evaluating these new fungicides as part of their cropping program. Even light infection levels cause canners problems. As few as two to three diseased beans in a can will bring consumer complaints.
In an effort to control and mitigate disease infected commercial seed, Ontario bean dealers have put the board on notice. Should a producer have an Anthracnose problem this coming fall (harvest 2005) and has no contract and can not show seed tags verifying the use of certified seed, the dealer may decline to accept a producers delivery. In essence, closing the door on a producer's ability to control his costs by using bin run seed - even if that seed were tested and shown to be disease free and all necessary precautions were taken such as proper seed treatment.