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The crop season of 2013 is drawing to a close. Harvest activities are progressing well and farmers are looking forward to successful completion of field work. Soon, it will be time to put together orders for next year’s inputs, seed, plant nutrients, equipment parts and other inputs.
This fall’s field operations can have a distinct impact on potential disease pressure in your fields next year and in years to come. Burying crop residues is an ancient practice intended to reduce plant diseases in following years. However, increased interest in minimum and no-till practices has resulted in less incorporation of residues. Along with developments in crop production practices, understanding of plant disease has also increased. Farmers are responsible for their own decisions related to these types of situations and should have an understanding of strategies for controlling crop diseases.
The article “Plant Disease Management Strategies,” found on the American Phytopathological Society website, is summarized in part below.
Basically, an overall strategy for crop disease management might include the following three components:
Each of these components can be further developed using traditional principles of plant disease control, for example:
1. Reduce the initial plant disease inoculum.
2. Reduce the infection rate.
3. Reduction of the duration of the epidemic.
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