Sunday, 29 July 2012

Plant pest/disease control and management in organic farming

The overall objective of the natural agriculture system is to provide long-term benefits to the people and their environment.
  1. Biological disease control: naturally derived fungicides used in organic farming includes
a)      Bacteria Bacillus Subtilis-these are naturally occurring bacteria which was isolated from the soil and is applied either as a foliar plant feed, seed treatment, or directly to the soil.
      How it works to control the pathogens
·        Colonies of B. subtillis takes up space on the roots leaving less area for occupation by disease pathogens.
·        Feeds on plant exudates which also serve as food for disease pathogens, depriving of their major food source, inhibiting their ability to thrive and reproduce.
·        Combats pathogenic fungi through the production of a chemical that inhibits the growth of harmful organisms. 
  1. Manufactured Fungicides: Fungicides allowed for use in organic farming include Bordeaux mixture, copper hydroxide and sodium bicarbonate for control of fungi.
  2. Some naturally derived pesticides are not allowed in organic farming and this includes nicotine, sulfate, arsenic and strychnine.
  3. Compost tea contains a mix of beneficial microbes which may attack or out do certain plant pathogens, but variability among formulation and preparation methods may contribute to inconsistent results or even dangerous growth of toxic microbes in compost teas.
  4. Soil-less growth media like peat moss which is sterilized beforehand is used to control the plant disease organisms in organic farming.More information The East African