First Look at Crop Termination Comparison Trial
To concentrate people's minds on what Fusarium tolerance in strawberry can and can't do, consider the first photo below which is part of a crop termination trial I set up with a grower collaborator last fall and now coming into production this year. The areas receiving no fumigation treatment remain heavily infested with Fusarium, and lo and behold, the ostensibly resistant strawberry variety, 'San Andreas', is already going down.
This only underlines a theme I have been pressing for the past year that, while plant breeding absolutely has its place in soil disease management, it is certainly not the whole picture and is not infallible. Abandoning fumigation and fumigation alternative research and placing the whole burden of disease management on genetic improvement alone, while tempting, is not a good idea.
April 25, 2018. Ostensibly Fusarium resistant strawberry variety San Andreas collapsing to the disease in a heavily infested field. Photo: Mark Bolda, UCCE.
Strawberry variety 'San Andreas' in beds which have been treated KPAM in a crop termination treatment. Photo: Mark Bolda, UCCE.