Dan Egel

Clinical Engagement Associate Professor
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SWPAC

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The Purdue MELCAST system allows growers to apply foliar fungicides according to weather conditions instead of using a calendar-based system.

MELCAST is a weather-based disease-forecasting program that helps growers schedule foliar fungicides. MELCAST stands for MELon disease forCASTer. This program, designed by Dr. Rick Latin, Professor of Plant Pathology at Purdue University, keeps track of weather conditions so that cantaloupe and watermelon growers can apply foliar fungicides to their crops when they are most needed. The foliar diseases that MELCAST was designed for are Alternaria leaf blight, anthracnose and gummy stem blight. In a typical year, MELCAST will save growers 2 to 3 foliar applications of fungicides without sacrificing yield. MELCAST works by having growers apply fungicides at specific Environmental Favorability Index (EFI) values instead of using a calendar-based schedule. The extension bulletin “Foliar Disease Control using MELCAST” BP-67 describes this program in more detail. To use MELCAST, follow these steps: Apply your first foliar fungicide application when vines first touch within a row or earlier. Find a MELCAST site[Read More…]


This article provides more detailed information about this herbicide. How does Chateau® herbicide work Chateau® is a group 14 mode-of-action herbicide. Compounds in this group are most active on broadleaf weeds. Before Chateau® became available,  no other preemergence herbicide with the same mode of action was labeled for use in watermelons and cantaloupes. The active ingredient of Chateau® herbicide, flumioxazin, controls susceptible weeds by inhibiting propoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO), an enzyme that controls chlorophyll synthesis. Because of chlorophyll production inhibition, a chain reaction occurs within the plant that causes cell membrane disruption. Chateau® herbicide can assist in the postemergence control of emerged weeds. It is taken up by roots, stems, or leaves of young plants. It kills weeds through direct contact. There is usually little or no translocation of the herbicide within plants. Foliage necrosis can be observed after 4 to 6 hours of sunlight following the herbicide application. Susceptible plants[Read More…]


One can hardly glance at the news recently without noticing an item about the health of bees and other pollinators. We can all agree on the importance pollinators play in the health of our planet and the critical role honey bees and bumble bees play in agriculture. There is no doubt that populations of honey bees in particular have been in decline over the last several years. The multiple reasons for the decline are not as clear. This article will address the role that fungicides may play in bee health. There are many possible reasons for the decline of bee populations. Pesticides have been implicated in bee declines. Most experts would agree pesticides may play a role in bee population declines. The type of pesticide that is most often implicated in bee declines are the insecticides. This makes sense: bees are insects. There is less known about the role that[Read More…]


Chateau SW® herbicide now has a 24(c) special local needs label for cucurbits. This product is produced by Valent, but the label is held by the Indiana Vegetable Growers Association (IVGA).  To obtain a label, one must be a member of the IVGA, pay an annual $100 processing fee, read and understand the ‘conditions for use’ and have the appropriate forms signed and notarized. One cannot use Chateau SW® without completing these forms and obtaining a label. This process must be repeated every year. Chateau® can only be used in row middles between raised plastic mulch beds that are 4 inches higher than the treated row middle. The mulched bed must be at least 24 inches wide. The application must be directed between rows with a shielded sprayer. Chateau® cannot be applied post-transplant. Do not apply more than 4 oz. of Chateau® per acre at a broadcast rate during a single application.[Read More…]


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I recently encountered some lesions of Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV) that appeared relatively large and had a ring-like structure.  I was able to confirm the presence of the virus, but at first glance, the lesions could be mistaken for a very common tomato disease: early blight. This article will describe how the foliar lesions of these two diseases might be distinguished. First, a bit about the symptoms of these diseases. Early blight is perhaps the most common foliar disease of tomato in Indiana. One might first notice that the older leaves turn necrotic. If left uncontrolled, the diseased lesions appear to ‘move’ up the plant. A closer look at early blight lesions may reveal the bull’s-eye lesions of this disease (Figure 1). These lesions may also be described as having concentric rings similar to a target. (Early blight is not the only disease to have concentric rings.) I usually[Read More…]


The Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers 2018 (ID-56) was printed in December 2017.  At the same time, the on-line version was posted at mwveguide.org.  As updates need to be made to the ID-56, I will make those updates to the on-line version. I will announce these updates in the Hotline as I post them. Consider the updates below and mark those updates in the hard copy of your ID-56 that will affect you. Briefly, Quadris Top® has been changed to silent on greenhouse use, Luna® products have been added to crops in the fruiting vegetable chapter, and RUP® has been added to Pounce 25WP® under sweet corn. My thanks to the several individuals who have suggested updates. Fungicide table, page 79-Change Quadris Top® from no to silent under the column for greenhouse use. Eggplant, page 134-under anthracnose, add Luna Sensation® at 7.6 fl. oz. per acre. 3-day PHI.[Read More…]


Figure 2: A tomato with tomato spotted wilt virus has necrotic ring spots.

While many virus diseases affect pepper and tomato plants, in the Midwest, the most common virus diseases of these two crops are tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) and Impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV). These diseases are usually observed in greenhouse or high tunnel situations. The two viruses, TSWV and INSV are closely related. In fact, at one time, they were both considered TSWV. Therefore, the symptoms, biology and management of these two diseases are similar. This article discusses the symptoms, biology and management of these two diseases. Both TSWV and INSV affect many hosts, including vegetables and flowering ornamentals. Symptoms vary according to host, stage of plant affected and environmental conditions. Both diseases can cause stunting, yellowing, necrotic rings, leaf mottle and more. Figure 1 shows a tomato leaf with necrotic rings caused by TSWV. Figure 2 shows a pepper transplant with ring spots caused by INSV. Additional symptoms may[Read More…]


Figure 1. Powdery mildew causes talc-like lesions on pumpkin leaves.

Powdery mildew is a foliar disease of all plants in the cucurbit family.  The talc-like symptoms on leaves are relatively easy to identify  (Figure 1).  More about powdery mildew of cucurbits can be found at this link https://vegcropshotline.org/article/powdery-mildew-of-cucurbits-2/.  The remainder of this article is an update. There are several systemic fungicides which are recommended for powdery mildew of cucurbits. These include:  Aprovia Top®, Fontelis®, Luna Experience®, Merivon®, Procure®, Quintec®, Rally® and Torino®.  Recently, fungicide resistance to the product Torino® was discovered in eastern New York. I don’t know if the strains of the powdery mildew fungus we have in Indiana are resistant to Torino® or not.  Growers should scout their fields for the effectiveness of Torino® and other products. It is always best to alternate systemic fungicides for the management of powdery mildew of cucurbits. If possible, alternate between 3 or 4 products that have different modes of action. Not only[Read More…]


The Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers 2018 described above is a good way to keep up with what fungicides are recommended and their proper use. Last year, I developed a fungicide schedule to help growers schedule when fungicides are applied. These fungicide schedules seemed to be popular, so I have updated the fungicide schedules and made them available again. There are two fungicide schedules- one for cantaloupe and watermelons and a second for pumpkins. You can find the schedules at this URL: https://ag.purdue.edu/arge/swpap/Pages/SWPAPPresentationFiles.aspx. Or call (812) 886-0198.    


The Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers 2018 is available for sale as a hardcopy ($15) or free on-line.  Actually, the Vegetable Guide has been available since last December. The guide may be purchased through the Education Store, at various extension meetings held around the state or from your Purdue University county educator. The website to either view or purchase the Guide, known in Indiana as the ID-56, is mwveguide.org. The Midwest Vegetable Production Guide is a collaboration of 8 states and 9 institutions. Are you thinking that you already have a Vegetable Guide from a past year and wondering if it is worth getting a new one? The article below represents just some of the changes to this year’s Vegetable Guide.  What’s New in 2018? New and Revised Sections For this year’s guide, we created three new tables — Selected Information About Recommended Insecticides (page 54), Herbicides (page[Read More…]