Designing strategies to control grey mould in strawberry cultivation using decision support systems

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Grey mould is one of the major diseases in strawberry cultivation. Fungicides to control Botrytis cinerea are applied frequently during flowering and sometimes at harvest. Reduction of pesticide use is one of the major aims of the Dutch government. Implementation of a Decision Support System (DSS) helps to achieve this goal. Pin point timing of fungicide application can possibly improve the efficacy of the treatment and reduce the number of spray applications. Predicted weather data to forecast infection risks are used by most DSS’s. However in strawberry cultivation irrigation is a daily practice. The effect of overhead irrigation on the Botrytis infection risk is unknown. This is one of the reasons that strawberry growers infrequently use DSS’s. Therefore adaptation of the model to agricultural management is necessary. Under low disease pressure DSS BoWaS controlled Botrytis fruit rot 62% better then routine applications of fungicides, with a 50% reduction of fungicide input. Adding an irrigation or a disease pressure sub-routine did not improve the model under low disease pressure. BoWaS based on disease pressure and weather resulted in better control of grey mould then the weather based BoWaS, under high disease pressure. Adding an irrigation rule did not improve the model further. Using the modified BoWaS reduced fungicide input with 36% compared to routine applications with the same efficacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-250
JournalActa Horticulturae
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Botrytis cinerea
  • Fragaria ananassa
  • Infection risk


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