Ginseng Crop Update for August 23 2012

After recent rains, and heavy dews over the past few nights, there is a re-emergence of foliar diseases, especially Alternaria and Botrytis. These pathogens can also infect the berries if they are not already harvested. Even if the berries are close to harvest, diseases in the berry can result in infected seeds or spores being carried on the seeds for the next crop.  As plants begin to senesce, the impact of Botrytis and Alternaria on root growth will begin to diminish over the next few weeks. However, spores of these two pathogens can be retained on dead stem tissues, which can then initiate new disease next season. As a result, growers should continue to control foliar diseases. Insect issues, if they occur, should have minimal impact on crop growth at this stage of the season, and will rarely warrant an insecticide application.

Soil moisture levels have improved recently, but could still be low in some areas, especially with the forecasted dry weather. Fields should be continually monitored for soil moisture. Irrigation will have less benefit as the season progresses, but will still be beneficial until tops show significant signs of senescence.

About Sean Westerveld

Ginseng and Medicinal Herbs Specialist, OMAFRA
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