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Resistant Lettuce Varieties Help Protect Against Downy Mildew

March 9, 2018

Downy mildew poses a serious threat to growers across all lettuce producing regions. However, growers can take steps to protect their crops from disease pressure by understanding the threat and selecting the best trait package when choosing lettuce varieties. Combined with a comprehensive crop protection program, resistant varieties can help growers avoid key lettuce diseases such as downy mildew

Downy mildew epidemics develop in dry conditions followed by humidity, and can destroy lettuce crops. As spores land on wet leaves, infection can occur in as little as 3 hours. Growers should take into account that the pathogen that causes downy mildew is highly adaptable and strains present in fields can vary year to year. Choosing resistant varieties, implementing a fungicide program and closely monitoring weather conditions can help growers minimize the impact of downy mildew on their crops.

Syngenta approaches this problem with a dedicated lettuce breeding program and collaboration with other breeders around the world to develop the best traits and resistances. Several Syngenta romaine, iceberg and butterhead varieties, such as Abilene, Rio Bravo and Lucan, feature resistance to downy mildew and other key lettuce diseases. Along with disease resistances, lettuce varieties are bred for characteristics and traits such as color, head size, and weight to ensure that growers can maximize yield in any conditions. Learn more about Syngenta’s lettuce variety offering.

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