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Optimization strategies to reduce fungicide applications against grape powdery mildew based on the epidemiology of the pathogen

Project Leader
Redl Markus, Project Leader
Type of Research
Applied Research
BOKU Research Units
Institute of Plant Protection
Funded by
Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism, Stubenring 1, 1010 Wien, Austria
Grape powdery mildew, caused by Erysiphe necator Schwein., is one of the major diseases in viticulture. Currently, the pathogen is mostly controlled with 6-10 fungicide applications. Due to the negative effects of pesticides on the ecosystem, the EU Commission aims to reduce the pesticide use by 50 percent by 2030. This project contributes to this goal and aims to reduce the number of fungicide applications needed to control powdery mildew without sacrificing crop quality. There is evidence that especially at the beginning of the vegetation there is a possibility to reduce the number of fungicide treatments. Mathematical models can make an important contribution here; however, in order to fully exploit this potential, numerous gaps in knowledge about the epidemiology of the pathogen still need to be filled. Targeted and thus pesticide-reducing management requires consideration of local disease development. The project addresses key factors here: The time of primary infection, the spread of ascospores and the incubation period will be investigated in combination with weather factors under natural and controlled conditions. Based on these results, mathematical models and regionally adapted fungicide strategies for winegrowers will be developed. These knowledge-based strategies will enable sustainable concepts for plant protection in viticulture and contribute to the achievement of a 50% pesticide reduction.
Mathematical modelling; Computer simulation; Plant protection; Viticulture; Sustainable agriculture;
powdery mildew; pesticide reduction; plant protection; forecast model; viticulture;
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