Southeast Growers Seek Strategies to Protect Vegetable Quality

A majority of vegetable growers surveyed at the 2015 Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference said they will update their crop protection programs this year to maintain vegetable quality and they work to grow more abundant, uniform crops. They identified thrips and powdery mildew as top challenges.

SAVANNAH, Ga., March 3, 2015 – According to a survey sponsored by DuPont Crop Protection of vegetable and melon growers attending the 2015 Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference, 80 percent said they will update their crop protection programs this year to guard quality and to help grow more abundant, uniform crops.

The survey collected information from growers attending the recent conference in Savannah, Georgia. Those surveyed primarily grow peppers, tomatoes, cucurbits and melons.

Thrips Problem

Growers participating in the survey identified thrips as the most troublesome insects (23 percent); followed by beet, fall and southern armyworms (17 percent); and cotton, melon and green peach aphids (16 percent). 

Among fruiting vegetable diseases, the growers surveyed ranked powdery mildew (19 percent), anthracnose (14 percent) and Alternaria leaf spot/blight (13 percent) as their top challenges when protecting vegetable and melon crop quality and other production outcomes.

Minimizing Pest Pressure

Growers are considering a variety of methods to enhance their crop protection programs to keep pests in check. Almost one-third of those surveyed (31 percent) said they plan to increase the number of times they apply insect or disease control products, and 27 percent are considering changing their crop protection strategies. Other tactics being considered by those surveyed include growing new varieties (17 percent) and investing in new crop protection technologies (16 percent).

New Technologies to Combat Pests

“Staying ahead of insect, disease and weed damage is always challenging,” said James Hay, business director, North America, DuPont Crop Protection, “so we constantly search for new ways to help to sustain food production and farmer prosperity around the world.”

Hay said that industry and growers must work together to implement sound management strategies. Introducing new modes of action for crop protection is one important way to manage pest resistance and preserve the efficacy of crop protection technologies already being used.  For example, DuPont Verimark® insect control, powered by Cyazypyr®, provides a new mode of action for cross-spectrum control of sucking and chewing pests such as thrips. For combating vegetable diseases, DuPont Fontelis® fungicide features an active ingredient that delivers protection to help growers achieve higher-quality, higher-yielding crops.

“The survey findings underscore the value of developing and deploying effective new crop protection strategies for the fruiting vegetable market,” concluded Hay. “We continually collaborate with growers and consultants to help them achieve the best results possible.”

DuPont Verimark® insect control and DuPont™ Fontelis® fungicide are not available in all states. See your local DuPont sales representative or retailer for details on availability.


The EPA registered label for Verimark® contains the statement, “This product is highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment on blooming crops or weeds.  Do not apply this product or allow to drift to blooming crops or weeds if bees are foraging in the treatment area.”


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