With acceptance and utilization of chemical pesticides declining, some vegetableproducers are turning to alternative methods to manage plant health issues. Compost tea (CT)has provided control of some foliar pathogens and may provide benefits beyond diseasesuppression. Despite an increasing body of popular and scientific literature focusing on CT as abiological control option for growers, information on the efficacy of CT is still lacking for manypathosystems. In this study, field trials were conducted to evaluate the efficacy of CT on
, causal agent of Septoria leaf spot on tomato, in Kansas, in 2006 and 2007.Previous research done at KSU with a similar CT showed adequate control of this pathogen infield and greenhouse studies conducted. Additional work to develop a rapid screening methodfor efficacy of CT formulations was carried out in the greenhouse at Manhattan, KS.CT sprayed weekly on tomato plants prior to and after disease onset led to no significantdifference in control of the pathogen compared to untreated controls. A contact fungicide(chlorothalonil) provided significant control of the pathogen in 2007, but not in 2006. Theseresults contrast with those obtained in previous K-State research. It is difficult to assess whysuch striking differences were obtained, but the variation in these results point to the need toidentify optimal recipes of CT for this pathosystem.Preliminary investigations standardized plant age, inoculum concentration, incubationconditions, and incubation interval for measurable Septoria leaf spot disease development onyoung tomato plants in the greenhouse. Ingredients of the field-tested CT were used to make avariety of CTs to test using the greenhouse-screening assay. Further work on identifyingeffective CT recipes is needed to substantiate the validity of this screening protocol and toevaluate the correlation of this method with disease suppression in the field.