New Syngenta fungicide protects leafy vegetables

Densely planted leafy vegetables retain moisture under their leaves, making them an ideal habitat for downy mildew. | File photo
Syngenta's Orondis Ultra is a new fungicide product developed for use with a variety of crops, including leafy vegetables such as spinach.

It combines two fungicides – Orondis and Revus – to protect the crops when they are actively growing. The No. 1 disease that strikes spinach crops is downy mildew. The densely planted leafy vegetables retain moisture under their leaves, making them an ideal habitat for downy mildew.

The downy mildew pathogen produces unattractive yellow spots on the spinach plant's leaves. These spots grow and turn tan and dry. As the infection spreads, the spinach leaves may become distorted, which makes them unsalable. When packed for transport, the fungus continues to break down the leaves, causing rot.

While planting disease-resistant cultivars and avoiding spraying water on the plants' leaves are effective methods of controlling spinach downy mildew, applying fungicides protects the current spinach crop from downy mildew infection.

Before purchasing and applying any fungicide, such as Orondis Ultra, consult the local extension service to ensure that it is registered for sale or use in the state or county. Follow the manufacturer's instructions when applying fungicides to avoid overuse and prevent the pathogens from becoming resistant to the products.

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Syngenta Basel, Switzerland

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