Exploring Common Crop Diseases
Plant diseases cost the global economy around 220 billion a year. Do you want to avoid your losses becoming a part of this number? If so, read on to learn about some common crop diseases and how to avoid them.
If you see a white powder on your plants, it’s likely that the disease powdery mildew has infected them. This is a fungal disease that thrives in shadows, dry soil, and high humidity conditions.
One way to avoid this plant disease is to not grow plants in shadowy areas with poor air circulation. After this, spray your plants frequently with an appropriate fungicide. Experts recommend you use this spray every 10 days at a minimum.
Also, check your plants for white powdery substances. You can find it on every part of a plant, including its fruit. Once you notice any mildew, remove infected plant portions and throw them away.
Unlike powdery mildew, downy mildew comes in a few different colors. Infected plants will have yellow or green spots on top of leaves and white to gray substances below. This crop disease likes to grow in conditions that are cold and humid.
A fungicide like Stargus can offer crop protection against this disease. You should also make sure to not provide the fungus with accessible water. Therefore, keep water off your plants’ leaves.
Also, this disease can stick to dead leaves and other debris throughout the winter. Be sure to clean what your plants leave behind in the fall.
Grey Mold/Botrytis Blight
Grey mold grows on plant tissue that’s already dead. However, if given access, it will spread to healthy tissue. Once this occurs, plants can experience rotting and/or dark brown to black spots.
It favors plants that have flowers and small fruit. These include roses, strawberries, and so on. If you can, exercise pest management by growing these crops in sunny areas.
Also, do what you can to remove and discard infected leaves and fruit.
This disease appears on woody plants like trees. It also appears on plants weakened by root rot, insects, and other issues. If you notice swollen, sunken, dead, or cracked areas on parts of a tree, it’s likely canker.
Spray a fungicide before fall and then once the leaves fall. You should also spray once the leaves begin to grow. If you notice the disease on your plants, wait until the weather is dry and cut the diseased portions away.
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Remember to be gentle with yourself, especially if you are a first-time farmer or gardener. Don’t feel too discouraged if crop diseases take your plants. Even with all the knowledge in the world, it can still take some time to learn how to manage diseases on crops.
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