Pests and diseases in plants can be a serious threat to crops with an impact on yields and therefore on the profitability of the business, so it is very important to be alert to minimize the damage they can cause.
Techniques for pest and disease control
There are various forms of control, however farmers generally use two control methods: biological method and natural control Y the chemical method.
Natural pest control avoids the use of chemical agents, what's more, it uses products of natural origin in order to avoid the environmental impact that some chemical products may have. Biological control is also related to the release of natural enemies for the control of pests and diseases, which through different methods, control the populations or the pressure of the pest or causal agent of the disease in the orchard, keeping them at levels below the critical level of damage.
The use of chemical agents must be carried out under monitoring and it is very important to first determine if there are pests that are affecting the crops or not, how much damage they are causing and if the beneficial natural organisms are already controlling it or not. Then there we must decide if chemical products should be used, when to do it and what type to use and its dose, since the excessive use of these can cause not only environmental damage but could also generate resistance in pests and diseases.
Some of the chemicals used are insecticides or pesticides, fungicides, bactericides, nematicides, etc. This type of control, which must be done under SAG registration and in compliance with the safety procedures indicated by the manufacturer, is generally high cost and its effects are usually temporary.
There is a third technique used in some sectors of agriculture, mechanical control, which is based on the removal and destruction of the host plants and also of the affected plants, eliminating the source of the inoculum or problem from the orchard.
Some tips that help prevent contagion in orchards and that help maintain a healthy environment for plants:
Keep tools clean and disinfected: This simple task helps prevent the spread of diseases and their spread in the orchard, controlling the scope that it could have, reducing the damage and its impact.
Space the plants correctly: Planting crops or planting too close together limits exposure to the sun and air passing through the foliage, making it easier for diseases to spread. That is why it is optimal to sow the crops or plant them further apart, or keeping space between the branches, leaving space not only for the sun and air but also for a good coverage in case of applying any chemical or natural product.
Maintain plant vigor: Plants can better protect themselves against disease when they are in good vigor and not weak.
Use of drip irrigation vs sprinkling or sprinkling at height: Through drip irrigation, a dry environment can be maintained in branches and leaves, which makes it difficult for some diseases to proliferate.
Correct identification of phytosanitary problems
As mentioned above, recognizing phytosanitary problems is essential when determining and choosing the correct execution of pest and disease control actions. Different symptoms can be detected through observation, so special attention must be paid to:
- The shape of the plants.
- The height of the plants and their normal rate of growth.
- Presence of dead branches.
- Presence of wounds and cracks in the bark.
- Presence of resin exudations.
- Change of color in the leaves.
- Leaf fall.
It should be noted that to obtain the best results, both productive and economic, we must achieve a healthy orchard using any of the techniques described above, however, for this, the farmer must have sufficient knowledge for correct identification, monitoring, life cycles, and reproduction or propagation. of the pest and/or disease, and specific control alternatives for each of the pests and diseases that specifically affect your crop.