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German growers arm themselves against cucumber virus

Ever since the aggressive cucumber virus CABYV was scientifically proven to be present for the first time in Germany a few weeks ago, vegetable growers in the Heilbronn area have been preparing for the plant disease to spread. The aggressive cucumber virus is a challenge for practitioners in the region, but there is experience with other virus types. The "Zucchini yellow mosaic virus" (ZYNV) has been present in the region for about ten years. Similar to CABYV, it causes a characteristic yellowing of the leaves and hence reduced yields, reported Die Stimme.

Virus easy to recognise
The last time Günter Hekler's company in Bad Friedrichshall, which grows pickled gherkins for the canning manufacturer Hengstenberg, experienced the problem with viruses was three years ago. "The affected plants can be identified very well, they can be removed effectively," says the experienced cucumber grower. The cucumber virus does not spread so easily in outdoor operations. In the closed circuits of the greenhouses, especially when soil is used as a planting base, the virus has an easier time."

The Hengstenberg company has a similar assessment of the situation. "CABYV was discovered in the greenhouse in regular cucumbers. It is not known in the field," a company spokeswoman said. This cucumber virus, which is new in Germany, is also unknown to contract farmers and is not an issue. "Good crop management, the right choice of varieties and pest control are important to prevent virus infections."

For more information: 
Hekler Gemüsebau
Riedweg 14
74177 Bad Friedrichshall – Kochendorf
Tel.: 0049-7136-22639
Fax: 0049-7136-26419 

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