Downy Mildew hurts Impatiens sales?

Will Impatiens sales be hurt by downy mildew this spring, questions editor of the American trade magazine Greenhouse Grower. She states that isolated areas of the country had big enough problems in 2011 that even consumers were aware of the problem. Miller confronted two experts with this question and also asked them where downy mildew is likely to hit this year and who will be spared. She quoted Margery Daughtry of Cornell University: “Although Florida is having a terrible time with the disease right now, the Northeast and Midwest, etc., may see no problem this year if their plant supply chain is free from downy mildew. Note that we are at the point today that the U.K. was way back in 2005, and they have had good years and bad years since. We should be careful not to overreact until we see how the disease will operate in different parts of the US.”

Colleen Warfield, corporate plant pathologist, Ball Horticultural Co answered: “The outbreaks (in 2011) tended to be late in the season in areas where there was a coastal or water-influence, periods of cool weather with fog, rain, or humidity. There has to be a source of inoculum in order for plants to become infected. If the pathogen overwinters in the affected landscape beds, this may impact beds in 2012.”