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Apple disease found in Columbia, Greene cos.

Sep 04, 2020 3:00 pm
Natasha Vaughn is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Cornell University plant pathologists have identified a new fungal pathogen that could affect apple orchards statewide, according to a new study. The new fungus, called bitter rot, causes brown lesions on apples, which makes them unappetizing to consumers and for growers, impossible to sell. Srdjan Acimovic, the study’s senior author and a senior extension associate at the Hudson Valley Research Laboratory, which is part of Cornell AgriTech, said the fungi has been found in Columbia and Greene counties. Regular fungicide treatments in orchards help prevent apple losses; bitter rot in New York state can take on average 14 to 25 percent of the crop every year, according to the study. New York is the second largest producer of apples nationwide. It produces an average of 29.5 million bushels of apples annually. Some apple varieties such as Honeycrisp and Empire are more susceptible to fungi than others, Acimovic said. The study also looked at predicted weather patterns. “We do see a rising trend where we see more frequent rain events in the summer that basically overlaps with really hot and humid weather that really favors these pathogens,” Acimovic said. “What we predict is that with global warming triggering climate change, the northeastern part of the U.S. is going to get really hit hard with these different pathogens, the climate is changing and it’s allowing them to move more north.” Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.