Downy mildew has been confirmed on sweet basil near Vineland, NJ in Atlantic and Cumberland Counties. These are the first confirmed reports of basil downy mildew in New Jersey this year.
Crop(s) at risk: all basil in New Jersey and surrounding region.
Potential impact: Significant losses will occur if not controlled properly
What growers should do:
Control of downy mildew begins with regular scouting, recognizing symptoms and weekly protectant fungicide applications. Now that Downy mildew has been detected in NJ all basil growers should be scouting on a daily basis and should add a labeled downy mildew specific fungicide to their weekly fungicide program. Phosphite fungicides (FRAC code 33) have shown the best efficacy in trials at RAREC. Both ProPhyt and K-Phite have downy mildew labels under herbs. Actinovate (OMRI- approved) is also labeled for downy mildew control.
Please remember, all abandoned basil fields should be sprayed with gramoxone or disced under immediately after last harvest to kill the remaining foliage! Abandoned fields left unattended after use will only serve as a source of inoculum for other fields.
If you suspect basil downy mildew on your farm, please contact your county agent or Andy Wyenandt (856) 455-3100 ext 4144.
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The points of contact between Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service and the grower & business communities are the NJ County Agricultural Agents. The agents are a tremendous source of information for both new and experienced growers. Visit your local county extension office.