Cobalt as nutritional scab control

  • April 18, 2024 at 3:28 pm #1908
    Dan Lefever

    this is a response I composed to an email Mike sent out last week on Brian Caldwell’s use of bicarbonates for scab control. it was a “reprint” of a submission Brian wrote a year ago. BTW if using any other spray materials in the mix with bicarbonates; be aware that they reduce the effectiveness of most all other foliar nutritional and biological sprays. and spray water that is more than 120 ppm bicarbonate content reduces spray effect. Use rain water, reverse osmosis water, or magnetically restructured water (Aquamonics Water System); if testing shows your spray water source is high in bicarbonates (Logan Labs tests). spray amounts can be much reduced and get same effect, even chemical sprays and herbicides.
    Brian, et al.,
    Could you please trial using Rebound Cobalt (biologically and fulvic linked foliar spray) from on a few of your most scab susceptible cultivars to verify if John Kempf’s statement that scab is just a cobalt deficiency is accurate?
    I have not seen scab in central VA in 8 seasons since moving here but Juniper (Cedar) Apple Rust is a severe issue with no adequate biological, botanical and nutritional combination, to get a handle on it to date. I have applied soluble seaweed and Sea90 on a regular basis during most early season sprays; and this likely is supplying adequate cobalt. I have been using soluble seaweed sprays on fruit trees since the middle 60’s. Possibly it it largely a regional issue as it appears scab is much more prevalent in northeastern USA climate.
    Maybe cobalt and or the iodine content is part of what accounts for the long time observation that soluble seaweed exhibits some fungicidal activity. AEA’s SeaStim is a mechanically pulverized cold process mix of 3 seaweed species that retains many of the physiologically active plant nutrients, other than minerals, along with cytokinins as contrasted with KOH digested soluble seaweeds. It also has high concentrations of iodine due to its Laminaria seaweed constituent.
    Dan Lefever
    BioRational Resource
    Nellysford, Virginia
    484-318-3789 mobile

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