Evaluation of a disease warning system for downy mildew of grapes

L. V. Madden, M. A. Ellis, N. Lalancette, G. Hughes, L. L. Wilson

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60 Scopus citations


An electronic warning system for grape downy mildew - based on models for the infection of leaves of Vitis lambrusca, production of sporangia by Plasmopara viticola in lesions, and sporangial survival - was tested over 7 years in Ohio. Grapevines were sprayed with metalaxyl plus mancozeb (Ridomil MZ58) when the warning system indicated that environmental conditions were favorable for sporulation and subsequent infection. Over the 7 years, plots were sprayed from one to four times according to the warning system, and from four to 10 times according to the standard calendar-based schedule (depending on the date of the initiation of the experiment). The warning system resulted in yearly reductions of one to six sprays (with median of three sprays). Disease incidence (i.e., proportion of leaves with symptoms) in unsprayed plots at the end of the season ranged from 0 to 86%, with a median of 68%. Incidence generally was very similar for the warning-system and standard-schedule treatments (median of 7% of the leaves with symptoms), and both of these incidence values were significantly lower (P<0.05) than that found for the unsprayed control, based on a generalized-linear-model analysis. Simplifications of the disease warning system, where sprays were applied based only on the infection or sporulation components of the system, were also effective in controlling the disease, although more fungicide applications sometimes were applied. Effective control of downy mildew, therefore, can be achieved with the use of the warning system with fewer sprays than a with a standard schedule.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-554
Number of pages6
JournalPlant disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


  • Disease aggregation
  • Disease forecasting
  • Environmental epidemiology
  • Integrated disease management
  • Overdispersion


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