Sutasinee Nontajak, Nuchnart Jonglaekha
Pitaya or Dragon fruit is an interesting fruit crop for the farmers who grow fruit trees in the northern part of Thailand. The main problem of pitaya production is plant diseases which could reduce yield in both quantity and quality. Results from surveys showed that there are four major diseases in the planting areas e.g. stem rot caused by bacteria and caused by fungi; anthracnose; and brown spot diseases. Fruit rot disease was found to be the most serious disease at the postharvest stage. The commonly used method for control of the mentioned diseases is using chemical pesticides to spray the diseased plants. For this research, the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) was used for controlling pests and diseases in the planting plots and the use of bio-pesticides to reduce chemical pesticides was also practiced. Management of fruit rot disease caused by Bipolaris cactivora was studied by using pyroligneous acid or wood vinegar at concentrations of 1% and 1.5% (v/v) to soak the fruit at various times. The results showed that soaking the fruits in wood vinegar solution at concentration of 1% (v/v) for 3 minutes was effective for reduction of fruit rot disease of at 92.14% which is significantly at 95% level (LSD p=0.05).