Milk shows promise on wheat mildew

January 12, 2007, Milk has the potential to save wheat plants suffering from mildew disease according to new research released from Harper Adams University College in the UK. A university program studying disease control options for organic and low input systems found that spraying wheat plants with milk can help cure mildew disease.

Dr Peter Kettlewell, lead research on the project, was exited about the potential of the findings, “Our results show that milk could potentially be used to improve plant health of wheat if disease becomes severe, especially on organic crops where chemical fungicides are not permitted.”

This is not the first time the curative abilities of milk on mildew have been documented. Researchers in South America found similar results when they used milk to fight mildew on squash plants, while, organic grape growers in Australia have used milk to rid their vines of the disease.

The study conducted by Dr. Kettlewell and research assistant Georgina Drury will appear in the current issue of Tests of Agrochemicals and Cultivars.*

*Drury, G. E., Kettlewell, P. S. and Jenkinson, P. (2003). The potential of milk and whey as fungicides against powdery mildew in wheat. Tests of Agrochemicals and Cultivars 24:26-27.