Breakthrough in apple-scab control

The need for multiple, spring and summer applications of fungicides to control apple scab, the most destructive disease in apple production, may be over.

Scientists at Wageningen University, in the Netherlands, say it can now be controlled by a biological agent, H39, which is based on a strain of the Cladosporium fungus.

A biological-control company is evaluating the possible commercial use of H39, which reduced apple scab in leaves and fruits in several European field trials during the last two years.

It is hoped that it can also be used to reduce dependency on chemical fungicides.

Apple scab, which is also a fungus, can reduce apple yield by 70% or more in humid, cool weather in the spring and summer.

Resistance to an increasing number of chemical fungicides in major apple-growing areas has arisen in recent years.

Furthermore, European Union regulations restrict the use of fungicides, and there is increasing demand for fruit without pesticide residues, which is another reason why alternatives to chemical fungicides are needed.

H39’s efficacy of control was between 42% and 98% on leaf scab incidence and 41% and 94% on fruit scab, as demonstrated in both organic and conventional orchards


These are the nail hues to choose this season, says Katie Wright.Perfectly polished: 5 autumn/winter nail trends you’ll actually want to wear

This early 19th-century table is one of a number of Irish lots at Sotheby’s Style, Furniture and Ceramics sale in New York on Thursday (October 24).Irish lots poised to add bite to Big Apple sale

Something for all at Hegarty’s auction in Bandon, says Des O’SullivanSomething for all at Hegarty’s auction in Bandon

Des O’Sullivan gives a preview of the Irish selection on offer at two sales in DublinPreview of the Irish selection on offer at two sales in Dublin

More From The Irish Examiner