Mold on clover that makes horses drool
I understand that this forum is Pro-Fungi and that's OK, but Rhizoctonia leguminicola is a different story. This stuff grows on the underside of clover leaves, right where they come off the stem. When horses eat it, it gives them throat and stomach ulcers, making them drool, literally buckets, causing dehydration in severe cases, they are obviosly distressed and it causes pregnant mares to abort (this is really bad for a breeding farm). The Ag scientists @UConn suggest herbiciding the clover off the fields. Nope. Clover is very hard to kill and I would turn my pastures, with their very thin topsoil into desert/moonscape that way. The CT DEP says to use a fungicide, but a quick read of the MSDS tells me that not only do I not want to touch the stuff, pregnant women(and horses?) shouldn't be even lightly exposed. The stuff is persistant and I fear for the downstream ecology and the fungi that it relies on.
Would dilute copper sulfate do it? or Clorox? I have to treat about 20-25 acres and I was figuring to use a power washer to deliver the mix, is there a better way? What encouraged the crud to grow in the first place? We have acidic soil and acid rain makes it worse, is this a contributing factor? To combat the acidity, we have lime spread on the pastures every few years, from a fungal point of view, Good or Bad?
This has been increasing in severity for a few years now. Spring is coming (though that's just a rumor around here right now, snowing again!) and I want to get after this problem this time around.
Thanks for any help and Info
(if you find yourself in Southeast Connecticut, come visit, McCulloch Farm Old Lyme CT)