Tesfaendrias, M. T., Trueman, C. L., Gossen, B. D., McKeown, A. W. and McDonald, M. R. 2014. The influence of nitrogen and calcium fertilizers on septoria late blight and yield of celery. Can. J. Plant Sci. 94: 1391-1399. Late blight (Septoria apiicola) reduces both yield and quality of fresh market and processing celery. Field trials were conducted over 4 site-years to evaluate the effect of nitrogen (N) rate and foliar calcium (Ca) fertilization on the development of late blight and yield on celery grown on muck soils, which have a high organic matter (OM) content. A treatment with the protectant fungicide chlorothalonil was included to determine if fertilizer could replace fungicide application in celery production. There was a cultivar×site-year interaction for each of the disease and yield variables. Repeated application of chlorothalonil fungicide reduced late blight and generally increased plant height, weight and marketable yield. The rate of N applied had a small effect on late blight, which varied among site-years. Area under the disease progress curve decreased with increasing rate of N at both sites in 2008. Similarly, an increasing rate of N resulted in an increase in yield in one of four site-years. Application of Ca did not affect late blight severity and increased yield in only 1 site-year. There was a negative correlation between late blight severity and yield. Tissue N concentrations varied among the treatments at sites with a relatively low OM content, but not at the high OM sites. The treatments had no effect on Ca tissue concentrations. Application of N and Ca alone did not adequately control late blight, but there was a slight reduction in late blight severity with increasing rates of N. Application of both N and Ca can improve yield and also contribute indirectly to improved late blight management in combination with fungicides and other integrated crop management practices.
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