Mold on clover that makes horses drool

crAnk(Connecticut USA)March 7, 2005


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)



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scottlk(San Diego)

Hmmm, I know they use chlorine dioxide soltuions to disenfect produce and drinking water. May be cost prohibitive, but you could probably spray the field before everything gets growing to wipe out all the spores.

From a google search:

Vegetables washing

Chlorine dioxide is an excellent product for washing vegetables. The ability to kill spores, viruses and fungi at low concentrations is essential.

ClO2 is a proven product that can be used to solve several food-related problems. It does not affect taste, odour or appearance. It is safe to use and complies with food regulations. Below are some examples where chlorine dioxide has been applied.

Apples: control of E.Coli and listeria bacteria's
Potatoes: protection against "late blight" and "silver scurf"
Lettuce, celeries and onions: compared to hypochlorite the vitamin-c content resulted higher and the potassium content lower
Citrus fruits: protection against "green mould" and "sour rot" proved to be successful at several pH values, low concentrations and limited contact time.

Do your own research - I'm just guessing and would hate for you to poison your land for generations to come!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 12:53AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Where do we find this Chlorine Dioxide? Is it also useful in soil born pathogens (fungus and diseases).

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 10:05AM
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scottlk(San Diego)

In small spray bottle sized quantities you can get it at home depot, it's in the AC duct aisle usually. It is called BioAire or EnviroAire or soemthing like that. It's used for sanitizing HVAC ducts - supposedly you just turn on the fan and spray it in. House is safe to enter within an hour after the mist settles.

For larger quantites you'll have to search the net. There are lots of different sources, but I've only ever bought the little home depot bottles so you'll have to do some google research.

Again - convince yourself it is safe for your aplication, I've have only ever used it in bathrooms or on carpets and it seemed safe enough there. I have no idea how other plants or animals may react to it if you spray it on living things.

I do remember seeing a study where they used it to spary grape leaves so there is at least anectdotal evidence it's safe...

I've attached a link to a random CIO2 company that gas some good reading

Here is a link that might be useful: Chlorine Dioxide Company

    Bookmark   March 14, 2005 at 10:52AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Gee, if this were available in a granular form for a drop or broadcast spreader, it might be worth looking into. My intent would be to somehow reduce bad fungus in soil, but I suspect that it would have no preferences. Its probably a lot safer compared to something like a chlorine bleach solution. Years ago, before I had a garden, the same area was home to an above ground swimming poool with a sand filter. I had to backwash the filter every week and when you consider the chlorine used in a swimming pool leeching into the soil every year, I am sure it felt something behind after all these years. Chlorine usually degrades and evaporates after a time in the sun and heat, so not much would be left right now. That might explain why my dad had very few disease problems for several years just after the pool was removed. Its just now getting to a point that I still lose some peas to an early disease, as well as early onset of septoria leaf spot on tomato plants. I've sprayed continually and find it a losing battle after the beginning of August . I think that this year, I might try the powdered copper sulfate spread all over the garden, and till it in before planting. It may help reduce any soil fungus that can affect my tomatoes and other things.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2005 at 1:33PM
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