University of California

Kale yellows in California, caused by Fusarium conglutinans Wollenw


James B. Kendrick

Author Affiliations

James B. Kendrick was Associate Plant Pathologist in the Experiment Station.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 5(1):1-15. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v05n01p001. July 1930.

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Attention was called to the yellows disease of kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala DC.) in the Petaluma district, Sonoma County, California, in 1927. A survey of the ranches in this district showed the disease to be widespread. The wide distribution and the severity of the disease showed conclusively that it had been present in the district for some time.

Petaluma is widely known as one of the largest poultry centers in the United States. The poultrymen depend almost entirely upon kale for green food for their chickens, using a large, smooth-leafed variety known as Jersey or Thousand Headed kale. The importance of kale as a crop in Sonoma County may be well understood from the fact that there are in the county approximately 4,000 chicken ranchers, of which 80 per cent depend upon kale for green food for their chickens. The average size of the kale plot on each ranch is approximately one acre; thus between 3,000 and 4,000 acres in the county are annually devoted to this crop. The majority of the ranchers have only a limited amount of land and must necessarily grow kale on the same land year after year. Once the disease is introduced into the soil, growing kale on the same land year after year only serves to increase the severity of the disease. Continuous cropping to kale has made the yellows disease so severe on many ranches that the growers have been forced into trying substitute crops for poultry greens.

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Kendrick J. 1930. Kale yellows in California, caused by Fusarium conglutinans Wollenw. Hilgardia 5(1):1-15. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v05n01p001
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