Extension Team | 2020 CucCAP Progress Report

Team members: Jonathan Schultheis (NC State Univ.), Mary Hausbeck (Michigan St. Univ.), Angela Linares (Univ. Puerto Rico), Jim McCreight (USDA, ARS), Lina Quesada (NC State Univ.), Chris Smart (Cornell Univ.), Linda Wessel Beaver (Univ. Puerto Rico)

3.2.1 Develop a centralized cucurbit disease website.

The CucCAP website (http://cuccap.org) provides cucurbit disease management information, lists of CucCAP publications and presentations, a calendar of meetings and events, and pages detailing the breeding, genomic, pathology, and extension activities of the CucCAP teams. News about cucurbit disease outbreaks, current CucCAP research activities, recent CucCAP publications, and presentations by CucCAP researchers at scientific and cucurbit commodity meetings is posted on the website throughout the year. The CucCAP Chronicle, an email newsletter, was published 20 times since June 2017. The newsletter highlights recent news posts on the CucCAP website and is shared on social media with 109 followers on Facebook and 84 followers on Twitter. The CucCAP Chronicle has 120 subscribers. A link to previous installments of the CucCAP Chronicle is available in the footer of the website. Google Analytics was set up for the website on September 1, 2017 and 2 ¾ years of website visitor data has been collected.

Figure 1. Site user and session data for the CucCAP website from Sept. 1, 2017 to May 21, 2020. (Users 23,255; new users 23,487; sessions 31,436; sessions per user 1.35; page views 63,744; pages / session 2.03; average session duration 2:15; bounce rate 74.65%). Peak use occurred in early February 2019 with over 550 site visits in a 10 day period during a series of Phytophthora and Downy Mildew Workshops for Vegetable Growers at MSU. Peak site visits in the 2019 to 2020 reporting period occured on October 17, 2019 with 121 site visits on the same day that an edition of the CucCAP Chronicle was published.

View figure 1 on page 72 of the pdf version of this report

Figure 2. CucCAP website page views from Sept. 1, 2017 to May 21, 2020. (page views 63,744; unique page views 48,765; average time on page 2:11minutes; bounce rate 74.65%; exit rate 49.32%). Peak views in the 200 to 250 range coincided with the publication of the CucCAP Chronicle and when featured posts were shared on social media.

View figure 2 on page 73 of the pdf version of this report




% Pageviews

The top ten pages viewed on the CucCAP website from Sept. 1, 2017 to May 21, 2020

1 Homepage cuccap.org 10576 16.59%
2 2019 Plant and Animal Genome Conference cucap.org/event/pag-xxvii/ 1726 2.71%
3 Breeding Watermelon for Disease Resistance cuccap.org/breeding/watermelon/ 1671 2.62%
4 Infección de Phytophthora cuccap.org/espanol/infeccion-de-phytophthora/ 1586 2.49%
5 Breeding Melon for Disease Resistance cuccap.org/breeding/melon/ 1532 2.40%
6 CucCAP Event Calendar
1271 1.99%
7 Project overview cuccap.org/about/overview/ 1126 1.77%
8 Manejo de Phytophthora en Cantalupe, Melón y Sandia cuccap.org/espanol/manejo-de-phytophthora-en-cantalupe-melon- y-sandia/ 1105 1.73%
9 Manejo de Phytophthora en Pepino https://cuccap.org/espanol/manejo-de-phytophthora-en-pepino/ 1051 1.65%
10 Research Publications cuccap.org/resources/research-publications/ 994 1.56%

Develop and post diagnostic resources and disease control information

Cucurbit disease factsheets, crop production manuals, and integrated pest management resources for the Northeast, Southeast and the Midwest are maintained and updated on the website. Notices of regional commodity meetings and Extension education sessions are posted on the CucCAP website events calendar. News from CucCAP researchers is reported on the website and in the CucCAP Chronicle, the monthly newsletter. The CucCAP website shares weekly reports from The Cucurbit Downy Mildew Forecast and Melcast throughout the growing season.

Provide disease alerts and forecasting tools

Weekly conference calls, Cucurbit ipmPIPE (Hausbeck, Quesada, Smart): These calls begin in May and continue through August every year and include plant pathologists from the eastern US.
Hausbeck uses publications via her website and uses personal communication with MI growers and processors to report disease outbreaks and provide timely reports regarding disease management.
Quesada conducts weekly conference calls during the growing season with the NC State Vegetable Team. These calls occurred from May 28 to October 29 in 2019. The calls were cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19 disruptions.
Smart has active Facebook and Twitter accounts, and is active in the Cornell Vegetable alerts blog (which sends messages to vegetable extension educators). As soon as diseases of cucurbits are first reported in NY, she alerts growers through these avenues. Additionally, any new advances made through CucCAP are shared through these methods.

Provide diagnostic and disease management assistance.

Hausbeck diagnosed 25 cucurbit samples and more than 45 via pictures sent via text or email. The diagnosis were primarily downy mildew and bacterial disease. Management recommendations occurred via phone to extension educators, processors, and growers.
Quesada provided diagnostics and disease management recommendations for 14 cucumber, 21 watermelon, 5 melon, 14 squash, and 6 pumpkin samples submitted to the NC State Plant Disease and Insect Clinic. Quesada has also been involved in providing disease management recommendations through oral presentations, social media (Twitter: 2,530 (lab) + 1,074 (Quesada) followers, Facebook: 847 followers, LinkedIn: 2,112 followers), and generating disease management resources such as the NC Agricultural and Chemicals Manual and the Southeastern US Vegetable Crop Handbook.
Smart diagnosed 32 cucurbit disease samples in addition to over 50 via email and text. The majority of cucurbit diseases in 2019 were bacterial. She continues to provide management recommendations through oral, written and virtual sessions. She works with conventional and organic growers in New York, including the plain sect community.

Field days and demonstration plots

Hausbeck has conducted cucurbit variety trials for Phytophthora blight to assist growers and processors in making control decisions. Powdery mildew trials were conducted for both pumpkin and processing squash in 2019.

Quesada evaluated commercial watermelon varieties for anthracnose resistance and supported demonstration plots to evaluate fungicides for disease control and combinations of tolerant varieties and fungicide applications.

  1. Adams M., Collins H., Salcedo A., Purayannur S., Standish J., D’Arcangelo K., Stahr M., Parada C., Wong S., and Quesada-Ocampo L. M. Agent training on disease diagnostics and management in vegetable crops. Clayton and Raleigh, NC, July 2019.
  2. Adams M., Collins H., Salcedo A., Purayannur S., Standish J., D’Arcangelo K., Stahr M., Parada C., Wong S., and Quesada-Ocampo L. M. Small Farms Tour: disease diagnostics and management in vegetable crops. Clayton, NC, June 2019.
  3. Quesada-Ocampo L. M, Meadows I., Shew B., Eure E., Mauney C., Butler S., Adams M., Collins H., Rahman A., Salcedo A., Parada C., D’Arcangelo K., Stahr M., Wong S., and Scruggs A. Agent training on disease diagnostics and management in vegetable crops. Extension Conference. Raleigh, NC, November 2018. 4. Agent Training on Disease Management of Cucumber in the Greenhouse. Raleigh, NC, January 2020.

Schultheis conducted Variety trials on watermelon, melon, squash, and pumpkins in North Carolina in 2019.

Smart has yearly demonstration plots at the Phytophthora blight farm with variety trials for squash (winter squash and summer squash) and other vegetables; this may not be possible in 2020.

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