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CAB Reviews

A reviews journal covering agriculture, global health, nutrition, natural resources and veterinary science

CAB Review

Challenges of managing disease in tall orchard trees - pecan scab, a case study.

Abstract

Managing disease in tall orchard trees presents unique issues not found in relatively shorter horticultural and agronomic crops, simply due to height Pecan scab (caused by Venturia effusa [G. Winter] Rossman & W.C. Allen) is used as an example of a major disease of one of the tallest orchard crops in the world (up to ∼44 m). This disease is a major issue for pecan (Carya illinoinensis [Wangenh.] K. Koch) notwithstanding ∼120 years of research aimed at improving management approaches. The historic and current use of host resistance, ground and aerial application of fungicides (and issues associated with their use) and possible benefits of tree management tools are discussed. The problems in obtaining maximum scab control are presented, and the research needs and the possibilities offered by new technologies, including use of unmanned aerial vehicles and genomics tools are presented. Better utilization of existing scab management options, applying new orchard management tools and incorporating new technologies should help ensure that pecan scab has less impact on pecan production in the coming decades.