Blue Mold Present in Lancaster County
A tobacco leaf infected with blue mold disease.
Blue mold has been found growing on burley tobacco in the Terre Hill area of Lancaster County.
Growers need to be aware of the disease and take appropriate action.
Under moist growing conditions this disease can spread quickly and has the potential to significantly damage both the quality and yield of our local crop. All tobacco fields should be watched closely.
Blue mold likes moisture; scouting shady and low-lying areas where the disease often starts is especially important.
With the recent hot, dry weather it should not spread very quickly, but fields should continue to be closely monitored, and in many cases a protective spray should be applied. Also, be aware that younger tobacco is more sensitive and susceptible than older plants.
Several products are available to choose from including the active ingredients dimethomorph (Forum) and mancozeb (Dithane, Penncozeb DF and Manzate Pro-stick).
Additional products labeled for use in tobacco include Quadris, Actigard and some newer products including Presidio (fluopicolide), Revus and Orondis.
It is important to keep in mind that most of these products work best as a preventive and protectant; for best results they should be applied before the disease is found in your fields.
Do not apply the Forum (dimethomorph) fungicide alone; the label requires that you combine it with another product such as mancozeb to prevent the development of resistant strains of blue mold.
Also consider rotating these two with another labeled product for the most effective control. Always read and follow the label of any pesticide.
It is recommended that growers who have questions with regard to control and prevention check with their local buying representative.
Lancaster Leaf Tobacco has a prerecorded hotline (717-239-4414) for its growers and others to stay abreast of the situation.