Why Monitor, Treat and Control Plant diseases
To utilise control measures efficiently and with optimal disease control performance there is a move away from routine pesticide application to precision crop treatments (pesticides and biological) based on regular monitoring. This requires a greater depth of knowledge by producers and their staff to identify problems quickly. The ability to quickly diagnose many disease pathogens does not exist and simple, accurate, diagnostic tools are required. Early diagnosis of disease potential is central to healthy plants and preventing disease spread
Worldwide, crop diseases are a major problem for producers with significant losses incurred. It has been estimated that an average of 20 – 30% of crop yield is lost annually from the field, even in crops where pesticides and cultivars with improved genetic resistance to pests and diseases are used. These losses can be greatly reduced by disease management practices steered by accurate and early diagnoses of pathogen presence. Unfortunately, methods commonly adopted for the isolation and diagnosis of many pathogens are slow and often deployed after disease symptoms are observed. For effective control and prevention of polycyclic disease epidemics early diagnosis of disease is essential to prevent spread.
There are strong links between health outcomes and food insecurity. It has been forecast an increase in crop yield production of over 70% is required by 1950 to attain global food security.
This has been estimated at a financial cost of
Despite a clear increase in pesticide use, crop losses are reported not to have significantly decreased during the last 40 years.
Increasing global pressure to reduce pesticide usage
Consumers and legislative bodies demand a step change
Requires producers to seek practices which reduce the risks and impacts of pesticide use on human health and the environment.