Few plant protection products are approved for use on mushrooms. Currently the only fungicide approved for use in most European countries is Sporgon (prochloraz). Reliance on a single product can result in development of resistant pathogen populations and a degree of tolerance to prochloraz has already been identified in some dry bubble (Lecanicillium) isolates.
During the course of the MushTV project prochloraz gave very good control of dry bubble, Mycogone and Cobweb. However, it is important to remember that fungicide use will not be effective if secondary infections are allowed to develop and get out of control. Thus it is still important to identify and treat areas of disease as outlined in the MushTV factsheet ‘Fungal diseases of mushrooms and their control’
A number of new biocontrol and chemical products were evaluated as part of the MushTV project but most of them gave little or no control against any of the three main diseases compared to prochloraz. However, the BASF product ‘Vivando’ (active ingredient is metrafenone) was very effective and this has now been registered for use against cobweb disease in Ireland (PCS No.05685). British and Northern Ireland growers will need to check with their pesticide registration authority on the status of this chemical for use in their jurisdiction.
As with any new product, care must be taken when starting to use it initially. We anticipate holding a workshop in the near future to describe the results from the MushTV experiments to growers in more detail as a guide to using the product.