Whole Leaf Tobacco

Powdery Mildew and Tobacco

dkh2

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I sent a picture of the tobacco growth to my county extension agent and he shot
a warning back about the upcoming warm weather and Powdery Mildew and he is
certain that this year is going to be terrible and worse than last year.
Last year in my pumpkin patch, in the middle I grew a single tobacco plant the pumpkin plant was devoured by Powdery Mildew but the tobacco plant didn't show any sign what so ever of it.

I am sure there is a different strain that effects tobacco.
Has any one here had any experience with Powdery Mildew and tobacco ?
 

FmGrowit

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I don't think it's a huge concern in the States, but Europe and other places in the world seem to have a problem with it. This is the first time I've ever heard about it being any kind of theat domestically, but Larry might have another take on it.

Like with almost all mold, it needs proper conditions to grow. Remove lower leaves as they ripen or die (lugs) to promote better air circulation. Also, (like with all mold) there are times when ideal condition persist and there is almost nothing you can do to prevent its growth.
 

BigBonner

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dkh2

What does the mold look like ?

There is what we call " BLUE MOLD " , It apears under the leaf . It will be round most usually the size of a dime or quarter .This sometimes looks like a powdery mildew .If you look close at it it may look blue , yellow or white .Winter kills this mold out but when summer hit the mold travels up from the south with the wind and reached Kentucky . This year I haven't heard of any Blue mold here yet .Blue mold can cause alot of damage .

Blue mold appears mainly with alot of wet weather .
If you have a picture post it. Check out this link for tobacco disease .

http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Tobacco/Photos-Disease.htm
 
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FmGrowit

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Blue mold is most likely what the extension agent was talking about as it is also known as "Downy mildew". I can't find a single account of powdery mildew being a problem with tobacco in the USA.

A few things I learned though...

There are about 30 different strains of powdery mildew. The strain that affects pumpkins and other vines is not the same strain that affects tobacco, so you can have a plague of powdery mildew on your melons and your tobacco won't "catch" it.

If you ever do get the strain that affects tobacco, you MUST rotate your crop from the infected area with crops that are not susceptible to powdery mildew for three years (powdery mildew can live in the soil for up three years).

As with any diseased plants, you must destroy the waste by burning and never compost any diseased plant matter.

Most mold is difficult to control once it is established. Preventative measures work if applied within the window of opportunity before the mold becomes established. This is why Blue mold warnings are posted as soon as the first mold appears. Preventative measures against Blue mold are expensive and are rarely applied unless a threat of infestation occurs.

Here's another link for Kentucky's Blue mold warning system.

Kentucky Blue Mold Warning System

Here's a map of current Blue mold warnings

http://nc-climate.ncsu.edu/bluemold/map.php After the page opens, refresh the page to show most recently updated information.
 
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dkh2

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Last year WAS definitely Powdery Mildew no question about it.
Powdery Mildew attacks the entire leaf structure of pumpkin plants and it's fruit.
Last years Giant Pumpkin was just wiped out all the leaves were encrusted with a white powdery
coating and the pumpkin got to around 200 ponds and then just rotted into mush
But like I said the Tobacco plant in the middle of the patch was growing like a champ with no visible
problems and I smoked the whole thing myself. I was just relaying what my County extension agent is worried about
this season, a long wet cold spring with a humid heat wave on the way and it's raining right now
We don't get any Downy Mildew here that I ever heard of.
Here are two pictures one right before the mildew started and another right after it set in and it spread like wild fire
Notice the tobacco plant in the middle of it with no damage at all.


Next picture showing where the Powdery Mildew is starting once we figured out what it was
I took the damaged leaves out but that didn't help one bit next we tried all kinds of remedies and none worked
we sent a sample in to be tested at the UW ( University of Washington ) and they confirmed it was Powdery Mildew.
 

Jitterbugdude

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Powdery Mildew is easily controlled with a foliar spray using baking soda, or better yet Potassium bicarbonate. It can also be controlled with copper sprays but I do not know if copper would damage baccy or not.
 

dkh2

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Powdery Mildew is easily controlled with a foliar spray using baking soda, or better yet Potassium bicarbonate. It can also be controlled with copper sprays but I do not know if copper would damage baccy or not.
I tried that remedy and it came right back three or four times I finally just gave up.
I should have took more pictures when it was real bad.
 

BigBonner

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Some farmers use Bleach for mold on the tobacco . They spray it with high pressure and they say it controls blue mold . I plant my tobacco away from shaddy tree lines and foot hills . Cool damp locations will promote mold growth .

That is diluted bleach . I think it was 1 gallon to 50 gallons of water .
 
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durgahands

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Hi,
I am new here and wondering
if anyon has tried to abate PM with
an aerated tea of eath worm castings
with a dab of molasses
to feed the microbes?

I was also wondering what dilutions of spray with the bicarbonate and other non chlorine suggested deterrant the gentleperson suggested earlier would be.
I want to have that in my "toolbox" thanks.
D
 
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