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Bob Larson Squash Fungi Study Pt 1
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: August 21, 2018

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I’m Bob Larson. Researchers at Oregon State University have determined at least part of what’s killing a specialty crop in the Beaver state. The study began a few years ago when a grower reported losing most of his winter squash.

After surveying 60 fields from 2014-2016 and taking samples of diseased plants to the lab for further study, lead researcher, OSU Ph.D. candidate Hannah Rivedal believes she found the culprits …

RIVEDAL … “Setaphoma terrestris is one of five organisms that I have found in high associations with diseased winter squash plants grown here in the Willamette Valley.”

Rivedal says it’s one of five species of fungi that can lead to complete crop loss …

RIVEDAL … “This fungus in particular has been known to cause Pink Root Rot diseases on other crops like allium, so onion-type crops. Onion and garlic are susceptible and some other things too, but this was the first report of it on a cucurbit crop, so a cucumber, melon or squash in Oregon.”

And, Rivedal says that field of winter squash fell victim to the colorful root disease …

RIVEDAL … “Pink Root Rot is a portion of the roots and crown rots, vine decline and collapse that we’ve been seeing in winter squash grown for edible “pumpkin seeds” here in the valley on about 4,000 acres or so.”

Rivedal published the findings in the journal Plant Disease.

Tune in tomorrow for more on this new resident fungi and what growers can do to protect themselves from Pink Root Rot.

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