Materials used in this chapter were published in:
• Ryabchinskaja, T. A., Harchenko, G.L. (2004) Immunization for protection of Apple against scab. Materials of international conference ‘Biological plant defense as basis of agricultural ecosystem stabilization’. p. 185-187., 2004, Krasnodar
• Ryabchinskaja, T. A., Harchenko, G.L., Saranceva, N.A.. (2005) New biological activator of disease resistance. Protection and Quarantine of Plants. Nr 4. p. 26-27.
Application of Albit on Apple was examined in trials of All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection of Voronezh oblast and All-Russia Institute of Horticulture of Tambov oblast. Trials were carried out in 2002-2003 on var. Sinap severnyj, Pepin shafrannyj and Zhiguljevskoe. Effectiveness of Albit application was also confirmed in practice by farms of Krasnodar kraj, Voronezh and Tula oblasts.
According to results of tests, Albit treatment increased yield averagely by 14.3 centners/hectare (8.5% over control). BE of Albit agains scab was 51-60%; its fungicidal activity was detected for scab prevalence and development of 2-72% and 1-35% respectively. In Russia, Albit officially registered as fungicide against scab of apple, economical and biological efficiency of Albit is not inferior to that of chemical protectants based on a.i. difenoconazole, trifloxystrobin, flutriafol and benomyl. According to preliminary tests, Albit can immunize apple also against other diseases. Besides yield increase and disease control, Albit improves growing processes, increases assimilation surface and photosynthetic activity of leaves. In trials of All-Russia Institute of Horticulture, Albit treatment simultaneously stimulates both growing potential of plants (photosynthetic activity) and their ability to resist diseases (catalase activity).
Application recommendations Albit is used for spraying of trees; number of treatments is from 2 to 5. It is recommended to use Albit for preventive plant immunization (before appearance of the first signs of disease) and in stages of bud and blossom emergence, ‘rose bud’, end of blossoming, ‘hazelnut’, ‘walnut’. The recommended application rate of Albit is 100 ml/hectare. On small plots, treatments are performed with solution of 1 ml of Albit/10 L of water, 2-5 L/tree.
Albit application on apple should be combined with standard disease and pest protection treatments. For example, at the stages of:
Schedule of Albit application may be reviewed to combine them with planned chemical treatments. In any case, Albit treatment in first half of vegetation will provide positive effect. Generally, results of Albit application can be detected even after second treatment; if it necessary, number of treatments may be increased. The earlier Albit treatment, the more significant effect it demonstrates. For example, using of Albit at the stage of bud emergency demonstrates a greater effect than that one at the stages of fruit forming, because earlier treatment immunizes plants in advance and provides prerequisites for accumulation of photosynthesis products.
As it was noted earlier, it is efficient to use Albit in mixes with chemical fungicides, especially with contact inorganic ones (copper containing, for example), which are universally toxic for broad range of pathogens, but also quite toxic for apple. This stressful action can be effectively relieved with Albit, which also increases fungicidal effect of mix due to its immunizing action.
Using of biologically active compounds and decrease of fungicide rates is a common way for reducing of fungicide pressure on plants. In our case, it is reached through 25-50% decrease of fungicide rates in combination with Albit, or through replacement of part of fungicidal treatments with Albit treatments. For example, All-Russia Institute of Horticulture used decreased rates of difenoconazole based fungicide, All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection replaced first fungicidal treatments with Albit ones. In result, the total fungicide protection was the same as in control (standard protection scheme, treatments with fungicides based on a.i. difenoconazole trifloxystrobin, flutriafol and benomyl), whereas yield was higher. Despite of standard protection, 13.8% of fruits of the less scab-resistant apple var. Pepin shafrannyj were infested with scab, whereas using of Albit decreased this amounts more than twice (6.6%). It is necessary to note, that fungicidal activity of Albit is based on immunization, therefore it is effective only before appearance of the first signs of disease. Replacement of chemical fungicides with Albit is ineffective for disease elimination; one can use only addition of Albit to full doses of fungicides to decrease their toxicity to apple.
Nowadays, drying of shoots, branches or even trees has become scourge of gardens of central ‘black-earth’ regions of Russia. According to opinion of many specialists, the cause of this phenomenon is Monilia blossom wilt (pathogenic agent — Monilia cinerea f. mali Wormald). Bacteria can be also participating in pathogenesis (they were isolated from ill plants). Possibly, it is an infection of complex etiology; high speed and magnitude of infestations are analogous to that of viral infections that killed fruit gardens in US in a great number. The situation is aggravated by low effectiveness of the fungicides offered against this disease.
Since Albit improves universal mechanisms of plant defense against broad range of infections, one can assume its immunizing effectiveness against diseases caused by unknown pathogenic agents. Of course, Albit is unable to cure Monilia-infested trees, but it can restrict further propagation of disease. Application of Albit increases catalase activity in plants, that increases their ability to resist infestation. According to this properties of Albit, it is especially effective to immunize plants at the stages of bud emergency (since conidiaspore form of Monilia infection generally infect flowers) and at the leaf bud opening (ascospores of Monilia generally infect young leaves).
Effectiveness of combination of Albit with insecticides, as it was demonstrated in many examples, is based on relieving of their toxic influence on plants that prevent yield loss. It is not recommended to decrease insecticide rates when using Albit.
According to conclusion of All-Russia Institute of Plant Protection, it is perspective to include Albit into the apple protection system to decrease plant pathogens injuriousness and to increase apple productivity. Application of Albit makes possible 3-fold decrease of chemical fungicides consumption, which is crucial for obtaining of organic production used for child’s feeding and for economical effectiveness. Averagely, Albit treatments provide 1300-11000 roubles of net profit from one hectare.