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Home Grown

Home Grown: Farmers tackling downy mildew following storm

Credit: Gerald Holmes, California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, Bugwood.org
Credit: Gerald Holmes, California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, Bugwood.org

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Yuma saw a pretty dry winter up until last week. The rain we received is now giving some farmers trouble with one of the most economically devastating diseases in the world: downy mildew.

This week's home grown looks at some fungicides that tackle the disease.

Spinach and lettuce are susceptible to downy mildew which is one of the most common issues growers experience.

They usually choose seed varieties that won't contract mildew… But since the disease is always changing, there are strains that crops can still catch.

The recent weather gave farmers a run for their money.

Chris Denning, desert sales representative for Gowan Company says last week's weather was a prime condition for downy mildew growth.

"When we have moist conditions, dewy plants in the morning, weather in the 50s, the 60s, that's right conditions for the disease to propagate," Denning said.

Gowan Company is based in Yuma and make fungicides for downy mildew usually in liquid form or as a solution mixture.

Organic fields cost farmers a lot of money because of how many crops they lose to downy mildew.

News / Yuma County
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April Hettinger

April was born and raised in San Diego where she loved the beach town and her two dogs, Lexi and Malibu. She decided to trade the beach for the snow and advanced her education at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

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