Industry representative: Adrian Jansen, Lingarden Bulbs Ltd.
HDC total project cost: £56,413
BOF 76 is investigating the associations between rust, soil/water and other factors over two years. Plots of daffodil ‘Golden Ducat’ were planted in ten locations in Cornwall and soil/water and other factors recorded. In year 1 a variable but low level of rust was found at all sites, with a higher incidence at three of four sites having high soil water content. Year 2 is underway and the incidence and severity of rust are greater than before though not severe.
The sporadic nature of rust, the view that it is not generally significant in crops in their first year, and the relatively low levels found so far, confirm the value of extending the project to cover the whole three-year growing period typically used. This proposal is to fund a third-year extension using the plots and monitoring equipment already in place.
With commercial daffodil growing in the UK more dependent on the sales of cut-flowers than bulbs, it is vital to avoid anything which could harm the buyers’ perception of the quality of the UK product. Ongoing problems with daffodil rust could result in a substantial loss of markets.
These losses could be largely eliminated if the project succeeds in identifying the cause of daffodil rust and is able to propound treatments, avoidance strategies and risk management opportunities that avoid rust development. The findings would be delivered through the normal channels of seminars, news articles and a fact-sheet.
Aims and objectives
1.1 Complete observations on the effect of the soil/water environment and related factors on the incidence and severity of daffodil rust
1.2 Obtain further analyses of nutrients in soil and plant tissue associated with rust-affected and ‘healthy’ plots
1.3 Continue pathogen testing of rust-affected and ‘healthy’ stems
The project extension would be based on work carried out in one year, and the overall project would be based on studying a single three-year crop cycle in one region of the UK, so it is possible the findings may not be truly representative because of weather, local factors or year-to-year variation.