By Dave Nanda, Director of Genetics & Technology for Seed Consultants, Inc.
Plant breeders try to develop new varieties with highest yield potential and select for disease resistance at the same time. However, it is almost impossible to develop resistance to all of the prevalent diseases while developing new varieties or hybrids. We have created some excellent genetic traits for insect tolerance but disease organisms are constantly changing and by the time breeders develop varieties resistant to certain disease organism, the pathogen changes. Nature has its own “breeding program” for the survival of its species. In order to maximize the potential yield of our crops, we need to protect them from diseases also and use of fungicides is one way.
Different disease organisms become more prevalent in certain growing conditions, for example, gray leaf spot likes high humidity and high temperature. Conservation tillage has also increased the incidence of many diseases.… Continue readingRead More »