Tomato - Fusarium wilt
Management options by Alan Walters (SIU):
The Fusarium pathogen is soil-borne and can persist for several years in the soil. A long crop rotation (5 to 10 years or more) does not eliminate the pathogen but can reduce losses. Crops included in the rotation should not be in the Solanaceous family, which includes peppers, potatoes, and eggplant
Solarization can be effective in sterilizing the soil (covering soil with plastic tarp for several weeks) to reduce the incidence of this disease.
The pathogen can enter plants through wounds in roots that are growing in infested soil, so try to avoid root pruning during cultivation or weed removal.
The Fusarium pathogen that causes this disease can be spread on seed, stakes, soil, infected transplants, various types of equipment and tools, as well as feet, shoes, or clothing. The use of disease-free seeds is useful in preventing the development of this disease. Generally, long distance spread of this pathogen is through seed, transplants or infected soil. The Fusarium pathogen can also spread in the wind with dust particles.
If possible, avoid using flood irrigation since this will spread the pathogen even more within a field or to adjacent fields
The use of organic mulches (e.g., straw) can help lower the soil temperature and slow the growth of the pathogen.
The use of high nitrate sources of fertilizers (as opposed to ammonium sources) can reduce the incidence of this disease. Fusarium pathogen virulence (ability to overcome the plants defenses) decreases with nitrate sources of N.
Generally, the control of Fusarium wilt is best accomplished by utilizing resistant cultivars, but the newer cultivars that have resistance to many different races of this pathogen are often not generally available in Afghanistan.
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