Saturday, July 24, 2010

Use Seed Treatments to Stop Diseases Reducing Yield

The article in Deccan Herald talks about Deputy Director of Agriculture Department talking about taking up seed treatment using fungicides and pesticides to minimize diseases and increase production for different crops. This is quite and important and very useful message.

If Indian farmers used pesticides and fungicides in a smart manner even in small acres crop losses and damage would be minimal and lead to better yield. Growing same crop again and again year after year allows the disease causing spores from fungus from one year to germinate and breed more disease causing fungus next year. This results in increase in number of spores (similar to seed) and creates more disease. Rotations of crops that is growing let us say Rice this year on a parcel of land in year 1, growing pulses such as mung bean in the year 2 on the same piece of land, growing vegetables in year 3 on the same parcel of land and then growing pastures in the year 4 allows the spores developed each year to die as they do not have the specific crop host they need to germinate. This is called as crop rotation. Crop rotations therefore help to increase yield by improving plant health.

If pest and disease fungal treatments are used with seed (seeds will look pink or purple or orange in color) then the seed health will improve and allow larger seed number to germinate and grow into plants.

Crop losses of upto 40% have been reported in for Toor dhal ( togari bele) in Karnataka.

Rice Blast Disease causing severe crop loss

Rice seed with seed treatment

Red gram pulse seed with seed treatment

Treated Pea seed Rice (Bhatta) cultivation red gram cultivation Chick Pea (Kadale bele) cultivation Mung bean  (Hesaru bele) cultivation Pigeon pea (Togari bele, Toor dhal cultivation) Agroecosystems of South India PDF book download

Images are collected from various websites. Author suggests that farmers contact the local agriculture officers and test the soil first to ensure the soil has sufficient nutrition especially Nitrogen Phosphrous Potassium and trace elements such as iron, molybdenum  etc. Refer to the article on soil test to conduct soil tests.