Sulfur vs. Immunox

appleseed70July 12, 2014

Just curious as to everyone's opinion of sulfur vs. immunox fungicide. I've noticed most here are big proponents of myclobutanil. I rarely (if ever) hear Scott Smith, Olpea, Don Yellman, Harvestman, or any of the other really knowlegeable folks here suggest sulfur to anyone. I just recently began using immunox (based largely on it's popularity here) and it seems to be good stuff. I just cannot say that it's any better than sulfur. Right now I'm battling CAR and both products seem to be equally effective. Developed immunity to sulfur is essentially zero. Sulfur is certainly much, much cheaper,mixes so easily, sprays well and for me, has proven highly effective. Even here in the hot ultra-humid summers of western Maryland. I like the fact that even after a hard couple of rains you can still see it on the leaf surface. I'm not a organic grower by any means (gave up that pipe dream years ago), but I do like the fact that something that "may" be considered organic is so effective, reasonably safe and cost effective. Also, what do you guys think about tank mixing the two together? I called the Spectracide hotline and got the company line "DO NOT mix with anything". I seen a university publication advocating it (Penn State I think). What do all you guys and gals think?

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I should add that I've also sprayed a fair amount of Daconil (chlorothalonil) and found it to be BY FAR the least effective of all the fungicides I've ever used. I only spray it before fruit formation, but I've sprayed it on my silver maple for fungal issues and have NEVER seen a single positive result. Even when mixed heavy. For one of the more questionable fungicides I would expect performance at least on par with sulfur. It's pricey too.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 1:43AM
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alan haigh

Your success with sulfur in preventing CAR is hard to fathom, as that is not the common experience from my reading here or elsewhere. It can be affective against brown rot in stone fruit but however it is used it has to be on the plant when it rains and reapplied after.

As far as what fungicide is better, that is also based on what fungus you are fighting. Chlorathalinal is quite affective when applied at the right time for peach leaf curl and peach scab, and copper is usually adequate for PLC as well. Sulfur or myclobutanil wouldn't likely have any affect at all on that fungus.

While an early application of Clorathalinal may be very useful against peach scab, for later applications to prevent brown rot it isn't even labeled anymore in the formulation I use. You can use sulfur, but get away with fewer applications if you use Monterey Fungus Fighter, especially if it happens to rain against your schedule.

Immunox is a poor protector against brown rot in stone fruit, great for apple scab and CAR but has no efficacy against summer rots and other summer diseases in apples.

The SI fungicides like Immunox and Monterey Fungus Fighter penetrate plant tissue and are not washed off by rain.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 5:50AM
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muscadines978(7, Dalton, Ga.)

Immunox is great for black rot on grapes.
It is a systemic and doesn't wash off like most fungicides, so rain doesn't wash it off l;ike it does sulfur or diaconal.


Here is a link that might be useful: Muscadines And More

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 6:05AM
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I'm very interested in this topic. This year, I have started using sulfur for brown rot, as experiment, on peaches and Black Gold cherries. It has not worked on BG. Overall, got 60-70% of brown rot on the cherries. Not sure how it'll work on peaches. I am tempted to switch to MFF next year.

I read the sulfur label, it's applicable to almost all the fruit I grow for various issues so I have used it on those trees this year. I'll see how effective it is on issues such as pear blister mites, CAR, etc.

I spray sulfur about every 10-14 days depending on rain and wind. I've mixed it with Spinosad and NuFlim 17.
So far, not effective for brown rot. Not sure about pear blister mites. Good for black spot on roses (for now, it's not too hot and humid yet).

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 8:20AM
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Harvestman: Have you not had success with sulfur in preventing CAR? It's listed for it. I basically spray Daconil only very early before bud break. Maybe I've (in previous years) gotten my CAR protection from it unknowingly. From there on out in past years I've with only a few exceptions sprayed solely sulfur and never had any significant fungal issues. It started this year on a new Goldrush I planted last year.
What do you think of tank mixing sulfur/ immunox/ triazicide?
I know most frown on applying fungicides preventatively, but here in my climate it's what you have to do. I've tried to limit preventative spraying and everytime I do, I find myself regretting it. Maybe I've never gotten CAR protection from sulfur in the past and have just been extremely lucky and in my mind given credit to the sulfur. I'm going to continue with the immunox, but I'll keep some sulfur in my arsenal too.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 12:28PM
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alan haigh

Appleseed, I meant to convey a level of ignorance in my last note as I've never personally used sulfur as a fungicide. I've read posts here for years and haven't known anyone with a long lasting relationship with sulfur controlling apple diseases who was willing to use synthetic fungicides. I actually misremembered Scot's comments, thinking he'd had difficulty controlling CAR with sulfur when he was talking about brown rot, unless I'm misremembering this time.

Because I can reliably control scab and CAR with a total of two applications of myclobutanil mixed with my petal fall and 2nd insecticide spray I would never consider adding sulfur to the mix. I do often add Captan for a couple of reasons, including the issue of resistance (scab), even though it is not such a problem in small stands of trees as in large commercial orchards. Sulfur is never recommended for this purpose by Cornell, although I don't really know why.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 1:01PM
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alan haigh

I thought I'd read about certain dangers of using sulfur and fished around until I found this. This is a pretty good looking revue of organic fungicides and warns about using sulfur when temps exceed 80. I suppose it is clearly stated on the label.

Here is a link that might be useful: organic fungicides

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 1:10PM
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appleseed70 fact it states right on the bag to not apply when temps exceed 80F. It also can injure three types of apple also, I believe being Jonathan, Golden Del. and maybe Macintosh. I've never had any chemical burn or really any issues with it whatsoever. In fact, before knowing about the temp limit I have sprayed it probably 30-40 times in temps way exceeding 80 with heavy mixes and also never had an issue, although I certainly no longer do that. That is another reason I started using immunox so that I'd have a fungicide I could use beyond early June. It also says on the bag it can in some cases cause injury to Concord grape and species of it. Before knowing this (yes, I really should read all the instructions first) I had always sprayed all my grapes including concord and seedless concord with it. Again...never ever had any negative effects. I still spray all my grapes with it religously because quite frankly my grapes look better than those I've seen where other fungicides are used.
I basically operated on the idea that I'd tank mix sulfur with my insecticide sprays regularly and if something cropped up I'd identify it and get a different (if necessary)spray to target it.
I'll probably pick up some MFF, I hear alot of good things about it. I wonder what it's shelf life is?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 2:05PM
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alan haigh

It's OK to defy the label if it's not about poisons, I think- just so you can learn something. I think the main "injury" is russetting, which is only a cosmetic issue- I like russet apples.

Because you've done so much against the label you know a heck of a lot more about using sulfur than I did before you just taught me.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 3:42PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Appleseed, I rarely use immunox and use a lot of sulphur. I have mentioned it many times here on many threads but I guess you missed them. I am a big fan of it for the reasons you mention: no resistance problems, and few adverse side effects.

Sulphur never did much for CAR for me, but I never did a serious sulphur CAR spray program with good timing etc.

Sulphur is great in May and June before it heats up to beat down lots of diseases. I also use it on any pear leaf blister mites I may have missed with my dormant oil/lime-sulphur. I have used suphur later as well but you do need to watch the temps as you can definitely do damage. The sulphur sensitivity of different varieties varies a lot based on time of year and weather; I used to lay down a lot of sulphur on all my grapes, even the sensitive ones, and I never saw big problems. I also use it on apricots which most labels say is a big no-no. This spring I did find a couple of my apricots appeared to not like the sulphur. But this was only two out of 20+ varieties.

Generally I can do one spray of immunox around CAR time and thats the only one I need all year, the rest is sulphur or Serenade.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 4:00PM
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Scott, do you mix it with your insecticide? Have you ever mixed immunox and sulphur for a broad spectrum fungicide? I just sprayed a immunox/triazicide/sulphur and no issues.
I often wonder though if the different compounds can work together individually, or if they can sometimes negate one another. I've read that you can generally mix anything unless it specifically states otherwise. For example oil/sulphur.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 12:17AM
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olpea(zone 6 KS)

I've not used sulfur simply because supposedly it is weaker against most fungi, relative synthetic options. I've heard of organic commercial growers spraying pounds and pounds of sulfur to get the same control of products which only require a few ounces per acre.

The link below provides a power point presentation from IL of sulfur for apple and peach diseases.

Note the efficacy of sulfur for apples diseases. The chart is P (poor) almost all the way across, except for Scab (fair) and Mildew (good).

Sulfur rates a little better on peaches, with Mildew and Scab as good, but poor on fruit brown rot.

Because I've read many similar ratings over the years, I've never been willing to give sulfur a try.

Here is a link that might be useful: Strengths and weaknesses of sulfur on apple and peach diseases

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 12:18AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Appleseed, I don't use much in the way of insecticide. I do use spinosad which I mix with anything including sulphur. For insects I primarily rely on Surround and mating disruption. I have probably mixed sulphur and immunox at some point, I expect that is fine. Sulphur and Serenade I don't do, I wonder if the bacteria in the Serenade may be adversely affected by sulphur.

Olpea, I agree sulphur is much weaker than other things. But in spring I am doing a lot of Surround spraying and I can easily throw in sulphur to every tank so I end up putting a lot of it on. When you are using it regularly it works reasonably well. Peach scab for example you can easily take care of with sulphur. It does OK on brown rot but my brown rot season comes with a lot of heat so there is not much chance for sulphur sprays. I did my annual MFF last week to hopefully take care of my brown rot for this year.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:44AM
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