Sooty mold after storage
The symptoms of sooty mold are currently quite spread in the organic apple cultivation. However, they spread also increasingly in the integrated growing. Laimburg Research Centre is working hard to find solutions for this increasing problem.
Sooty mold appears as black-green cover of fungi. The pulp and the taste do not suffer from these fungi. However, the appearance of the apples leads to reduced sales. The fungi appear mainly on late varieties such as Pink Lady® or Fuji. The weather also plays a role in the development of sooty mold: after cold and wet summer and fall months, the likelihood of sooty mold rises. Mostly, the damage gets visible only at the end of the storage.
Laimburg Research Centre tackles the problem with interdisciplinarity:
- The working groups “Phytopatology” and “Virology and diagnostics” work on identifying the singular fungi, which create the sooty mold-complex.
- The working group “Storage and postharvest biology” wants to inhibit the extension of the fungi during storage. For this purpose, the working group undertakes trials including the airing or applying salt solutions to the cooling cells (this reduces the humidity in the cells and thus the ability of the fungi to propagate), or the introduction of an air ionizer (which should clean the cells of fungi spores).
- The working group “Organic farming” worked in the field with different active agents. Some carbonates and lime sulfur reached the best results. However, none of the tested agents was totally satisfying. The rain covers (Keep in Touch®) led to interesting results. The working group conducted also some postharvest-trials, where treatments with warm water and brushes seemed to reach positive results. These trials need to be repeated and looked at in depth in future.
||Sooty mold after storage ()
Ebner, I., Kelderer, M., Zanella, A., "Rußtau nach der Lagerung", 23.11.2018, Südtiroler Landwirt, Nr. 21, 76-77.