Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland

Fire blight, a permanent threat

Fire blight is the most damaging disease of pipfruits. The situation has dramatically changed in Switzerland during the last few years, when the disease was found in several new regions (e.g. cantons of Zurich, Thurgau, St. Gall, Lucerne, etc.). A large number of host plants can be affected by fire blight during the season. There is no effective chemical control available that can be used without risk. Phytosanitary measures on a legislative basis have been applied in collaboration between the Federal Office of agriculture and regional authorities in order to prevent further damage. Prevention of fire blight will remain the most important task in the near future and needs intensive cooperation of all the parties concerned, i.e. fruit growers, environmentalists, public at large, scientific community, legal authorities, etc.

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