Botrytis – the flower menaceMarch 22, 2019
Botrytis, also called – gray mold, refers to a stage of the development of the fungus during which it acquires the appearance of gray fluff. The name Botrytis cinerea derives from the Greek ‘botrys’, which means ‘bunch of grapes’, and from the Latin ‘cinerea’, which refers to the ash color of the mold.
The plants can receive the fungus in the field, in the transport or in the storage, nevertheless, the disease is especially serious during the storage and transport, and the infection can be imperceptible when cutting and packing the flower, causing in certain seasons great losses in the export. The manipulation of the cut flower, its transfer from the cold room to any type of transport not so well refrigerated, is the easiest way to moisten the surface of the petals and facilitate the infection.
The optimum temperature for the growth of the fungus is around 24ºC, but this organism can withstand temperatures of up to 0 °C, so that, ultimately, the temperature is not as important factor as the relative humidity of the air. If this factor has a high value, Botrytis can attack at any temperature.
Conditions that favor botrytis infection
Normally, farms follow strict procedures to prevent and control Botrytis. It is almost an art to be able to calculate the adequate amount of special chemical solutions, to detect the little dots on the petals and isolate the infected flower. Unfortunately, no one is able to prevent and control this problem at 100%.
That is why it is vital additional checking and control – once flower is packed at the farm and/or at the cargo agency. HCG technicians are very experienced and professional – what might have escaped the eye of the Post-Harvest Manager at the farm, will not escape the eyes of HCG agronomist, thus assuring you will not pay for the transportation of rotten and infected flower.