Plant health management is the science and practice of understanding and eliminating the succession of biotic and abiotic factors that limit plants from achieving their full genetic potential as crops, ornamentals, timber trees, or other uses. Although practiced as long as agriculture itself, as a science-based concept, plant heath management as a science is even younger than integrated pest management (IPM), and includes and builds upon but is broader than IPM.
Answers to Questions from a Journalist The rate of adoption of genetically engineered crops by farmers once approved by the federal government has been as fast or faster than the rate of adoption of new smartphones, apps, and GPS by the general public, and for the same reasons: these modern technologies bring value and convenience […]
Read about a method to eliminate pathogens, weed seeds, and other pests from soil using the heat generated by the sun’s rays passing through clear plastic tarp covering the soil.
Read about the depressed yields of wheat in conservation tillage systems misdiagnosed and researched for 30 years as allelopathy caused by toxins in the straw that turned out to be infectious root diseases due to lack of crop rotation.
Read how the tools of rDNA technology, also known as “genetic engineering,” have been used in the past to reveal useful information about plant diseases and new approaches to their control.
Crop rotation will always be the surest way to control root diseases, but continuous crop monoculture can also bring about the control of some root diseases. Read about the remarkable story of take-all decline with continuous monoculture of wheat.
Summary of a Symposium Talk Presented at the Centennial Meeting of the American Phytopathological Society, 2008, in Minneapolis, MN.
Learn about experiments showing that cereal grains when under pressure from root disease yield more when planted in paired rows spaced 7 inches apart, with 17 inches between the pairs, rather than rows spaced uniformly at 12 inches apart; and that placement of fertilizer as a band needs to be close enough to the seed row so that even diseased roots can access to the nutrients.
Learn about four widely distributed root diseases of wheat and barley, how they are similar, how they are different and how they impact health and yield of the crop.
Learn about the research that experimentally separated the flush of nutrients from killed microbial biomass from control of root pathogens in explaining the nearly-universal increased growth and yield response of wheat to soil fumigation.