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R430 Reducing the Impact of Sclerotinia (LINK)

Publication Date: 
23 August 2011
Author/Contact :
Caroline Young

Contractor :

Full Research Project Title: Reducing the impact of Sclerotinia
Duration: October 2009 - September 2012

Aim: To improve the control of Sclerotinia disease for susceptible crops in the rotation, thereby reducing the impact of Sclerotinia disease on arable rotations, vegetable crops and land use.

Industry Challenge

Sclerotinia disease caused by the fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is an increasing problem in the UK. It causes significant losses in arable and vegetable crops in the rotation, including oilseed rape, peas, spring beans, potatoes, lettuce and carrots.  If this trend continues, rotations will become more limited and it may ultimately become uneconomic to produce some susceptible crops in the UK. S. sclerotiorum has two lifecycle phases targeted by control measures: airborne spores and long-lived resting bodies (sclerotia). Current control relies on foliar fungicides which prevent infection by airborne spores, but there is scope to improve both targeting of fungicides and treatments to soil. If a reduction in soil inoculum can be achieved, there may be greater potential to include more than one susceptible crop in rotations.


ADAS, BASF, Belchim, Burkard, Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA) , Horticultural Development Council (HDC), Microzone, National Pollen and Aerobiology Research Unit, Rothamsted Research, Processors and Growers Research Organisation, SAC, Velcourt Group plc and Warwick Crop Centre (formerly Warwick-HRI)

Aims and Approach

The main long-term benefit of this project is therefore to safeguard UK production capacity. The objectives are as follows:

a) Improve timing of fungicide applications, based on airborne inoculum detection and/or weather data.

b) Quantify the effect of soil management and crop rotation on sclerotinia disease.
c) Evaluate fungicide timing according to inoculum detection and/or disease forecasting across a range of crops and locations in GB


The final report is available via the AHDB HGCA website.

R430 Sclerotinia FINAL


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