Project Details


In 2002, thirty-three thousand acres (representing only the top 17 vegetable crops grown on a per acre basis) of fresh-market vegetables were grown with a farm gate value of over 125 million dollars. Seven thousand acres of processing vegetables are also grown annually for processing plants throughout the Northeast with an estimated farm gate value of over 6 million dollars. Vegetable crops must be grown economically and efficiently in order for New Jersey vegetable growers to compete in the larger US and international marketplace. Growers rely on integrated pest or best management practices which incorporate different production and cultural practices to help control insects, weeds and plant disease. Without proper disease management strategies, annual losses to vegetable disease would exceed millions of dollars annually. Therefore, integrated disease management strategies for vegetable crops must be continually evaluated and developed in order to help reduce potential losses to disease and to allow New Jersey vegetable growers to produce crops efficiently and economically. One of the most destructive soil-borne diseases of solanaceous and cucurbit crops is Phytophthora capsici. In the US, losses to phytophthora blight exceed millions of dollars annually. Without the use of resistant or tolerant bell pepper cultivars, annual losses to phytophthora blight could be as high as 100% in some production areas of New Jersey. In recent years, skin separation or 'silvering' has become a serious fruit disorder in bell pepper production in New Jersey and other bell pepper production areas of the US. As pepper fruit mature, the outer epidermis may develop white or silver colored flecks. Although silvering does not affect fruit integrity, it does reduce fruit quality making affected fruit less marketable. Depending on the commercial cultivar, silvering can be as high as 90% in early harvests and as high as 30% in late harvests. Our research suggests that silvering in fruit may be linked to phytophthora-resistance in commercial bell pepper cultivars. Such that, the more resistant the pepper cultivar is to phytophthora blight, the more likely it is to develop silvering. The bell pepper cultivar, Paladin, because of its phytophthora-resistance, is grown on approximately 30 to 40% of the commercial acreage in New Jersey. Unfortunately, this makes a large percentage of bell pepper production acreage in the state susceptible to silvering. The purpose of this research is to develop and implement integrated disease management strategies for the control of important vegetable diseases in New Jersey utilizing fungicide resistance management, disease-tolerant vegetable cultivars and best management practices. This research will help support the mission of the NJAES by helping to enhance the vitality, health, sustainability and overall quality of life of people in New Jersey by developing and delivering practical, effective solutions to current and future challenges in agriculture and its impacts on the environment; public health; the economy, and rural communities.
Effective start/end date4/1/113/31/16


  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture (National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA))


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