Plant Disease Management: What You Need to Know About Using Organic Fungicides

Farmers and people in agriculture have been all out into researching for the most effective solution and strategy in reducing the losses caused by plant diseases. After discovering the roots of plant diseases, we have come up to a wide range of measures to control specific plant diseases. Continue reading “Plant Disease Management: What You Need to Know About Using Organic Fungicides”

The Dangers in Using Synthetic Fungicides

Fungicides, along with herbicides and insecticides, are all pesticides used in plant
protection. These fungicides are used to kill fungal pathogens on plants. According to
the American Phytopathological Society, fungi is the leading cause of crop loss
worldwide.

Fungicides can serve many purposes.

 Control plant diseases during the establishment and development of a crop

 Increase productivity of a crop while reducing blemishes.

 Improve shelf life and quality of harvested plants and produce.

However, take note that some fungicides can also pose dangerous risks. Follow this list
and learn what to risk when choosing synthetic fungicides.

1. When these fungicides are used to plants for a long time, fungi species tend to
develop resistance to its chemical composition. This means that using fungicide
can no longer be effective no matter how much we apply on plants targeting
these fungi.

2. Some fungicides cause a toxic effect called phytotoxicity among plants. There
are specific synthetic fungicide for every produce. If not handled carefully, they
could potentially kill plants.

3. Fungicides can also pose dangerous risks to human health. Some fungicides can
irritate skin and eyes while others cause respiratory problems.

4. Synthetic fungicide has a huge impact to the environment. These products are
toxic for aquatic animals when the chemicals run-off the fields. They also pollute
the ground and water.

So what are the alternatives?

The safer alternatives to these synthetic fungicides are organic fungicides. It is best
to find a highly effective fungicide that is also organic.

We at Bionovelus are all proud of our very own amazing product, the CR-10. It is a
non-toxic, organic and healthier solution to combat fungi, bacteria and all plant
diseases. Moreover, CR-10 is developed from a protein found in plants making it
impossible for fungi to develop resistance to it.

We constantly work with farmers to understand their needs. We continually work for
solutions in order to combat the world’s high crop production losses.

The Role of Fungicides in Agriculture

Fungicides are substances that are used to eliminate fungi, fungal spores and infections. In the
market today, there are natural fungicides and chemical fungicides available.

The leading cause of crop damage across the globe are fungal pathogens. These pose serious
risk and damage in agriculture which results to major losses of yield and profits to famers. It can
have a huge impact on the economy since the supply of food is affected as well.

Fungicides are used to manage bacterial and fungal diseases among crops. These diseases
tend to be a common occurrence on plants. To negate its impact on quality and yield of crops,
quality fungicides are used.

The presence of fungi can affect plants in different ways. Therefore, there can be different types
of fungicides depending on the application. There are:

1. Fungicides that control disease during the growth of crops.

2. Fungicides that increase productivity of a crop.

3. Fungicides that improve the storage life and quality of harvested plants and produce.

You can find specific fungicides for each of these applications. However, you can also find a
fungicide that can be applied for all these uses. More farmers are now considering organic or
biofungicides. These are more harmless and more effective in the long run.

In disease management, fungicides also play a vital part. They control a range of diseases
satisfactorily.

These fungicides are applied before a plant disease occurs. Do note that fungicides are not able
to fix a plant disease once it has already infested on the plants. They only protect healthy plants.
The best thing about using fungicides is that it targets specific pathogens. This means the
potential for toxicity among humans and other helpful organisms is reduced.

When used properly and strategically, fungicides can be key to plant disease management and
production of high quality crops and increased yield.

The Common Types of Plant Diseases to Watch for (Part 2)

Continuing from the previous post, in this one we are going to learn about other common types of plant diseases to help you identify one when you see one. As you see, there is a wide range of plant diseases and being able to recognize them is the first step to doing what you have to do with your plants.

Here some more plant diseases for you to observe as well.

  1. Black Spot

Black Spot is a disease that commonly strikes roses. Black spot appears on the leaves, up to a half-inch across, forming yellow margins. If left unchecked, it can cause a rose bush to totally defoliate. After your rose bush is infected by black spot fungus, the markings will stay there until the marked leaves fall off. Black spot is usually wind-borne. It occurs during moist and humid conditions.

  1. Leaf curl and blister

These fungal diseases cause curled leaves on many trees. There are many different types of these diseases. Peach leaf curl can occur on almonds and peaches. You may see that new leaves are pale and the midrib doesn’t grow along with the leaves, which causes them to curl and pucker as they grow. This results to damage in the fruits and worse, it could kill the tree.

Leaf blister can kill its tree. These blisters appear as yellow bumps on the upper surface of the leaves and gray depressions on the lower surface.

  1. Club root

Club root are likely to occur in flowers and vegetables especially in the cabbage family. Plants infected by this fungus will typically wither during the day and become revived again at night. The older yellow leaves will drop off eventually. The roots are often swollen or distorted. This disease can cause plants to die and reduce yields.

  1. Wilts

Your plants wilt or wither when they don’t get enough water. Some fungi or bacteria cause permanent wilting, sometimes turning them into yellow, that is eventually followed by the death of the plant. Wilts are any number of diseases that distresses the vascular system of plants.

Control measures will highly depend on the proper identification of plant diseases. Make sure to isolate the plant of the disease-causing agent to avoid further damage.

The Common Types of Plant Diseases to Watch for

Plants can get diseases, too. If you are regularly observing your plants and you notice that they are beginning to look odd, chances are that these plants of yours are already infected by plant diseases.

Now, you have to act fast because you know that plant diseases could spread to all the other neighboring plants. But sadly, you don’t know what to do. That could be the worst scenario, right?

Today, we are going to learn all about the common plant diseases and what to do when you encounter them. Read on and discover a lot about these pesky diseases.

What are plant diseases?

Plant diseases are typically caused by fungi. Some other causes include bacterial and viral infections. These are some of the most common plant diseases.

  1. Cankers

Cankers are characterized by dead areas on a plant’s stem that turn to be discolored. They usually form on woody stems, and can be sunken areas, cracks or raised areas of abnormal or dead tissue. They may ooze or girdle trunks or shoots, which can cause everything to die.

Types of cankers are cytospora and nectria cankers.

  1. Blights

There are a few types of blight to watch for. All of which are easily identifiable as they all cause the sudden death of all plant tissues such as the flowers, stems and leaves.

  • Fire blight

Fire blight is a bacterial disease that affects fruit trees, roses, and other small fruits. Shoots will look blackened once they get affected. You may notice lesions on the branches and limbs that secretes an amberish-brown liquid on very warm days.

  • Early blight

Fungal blight can infect plants, vegetables, shade trees and fruit trees, but when it strikes tomatoes, peppers or potatoes, it’s called as early blight. Symptoms include brown to black colored spots on leaves which develop concentric rings. When heavily blighted, the leaves dry up and die as the spots grow together. The symptoms are noticeable on the lower leaves first.

  • Late blight

Late blight can infect certain flowers causing dieback of shoots and stem cankers. It can also common in tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers. The early symptoms include water-soaked spots on lower leaves, which widen gradually and are mirrored beneath the leaf with a white soft growth. You may see dark-colored blotches penetrate the flesh on potatoes appearing as sunken lesions. The affected plant is about to rot and die during wet season.

  1. Rusts

This is not the ones you see on metal. Rusts are another type of fungal disease. Two different plant species may be needed by these to use as hosts in order to complete their life cycle. The usual symptom is a light brown to rust-hued coating, that often appears first on small branches.

These are just a few of the common kinds of plant diseases. Discover more about the others in the part 2 following this post.

All You Need to Know about Biofungicide

Plants can be highly vulnerable to wide range of pathogens. Without proper treatment, other plants nearby can also get infected.  Once creative method for controlling disease among greenhouse and other commercial crops is by using biofungicide.

What is a biofungicide and how does it work?

What is a Biofungicide?

A biofungicide is made up of beneficial fungi and bacteria that colonize and attack plant pathogens. By controlling these pathogens, it eliminates the diseases they cause. This is an environmentally friendly alternative to chemical fungicides. The microorganisms used in bio fungicides are naturally found in soil.

Moreover, using biofungicides in plants is an effective way to protect your plants from pathogens that are becoming resistant to chemical fungicides.

How does it work?

There are few ways in which biofungicides control other microorganisms.

  1. Through antibiosis.

Biofungicides are capable in producing chemicals similar to an antibiotic. These chemicals are destructive for the pathogens.

  1. Through direct competition

Biofungicides grow a defensive obstruction around the roots of the plant, giving it an effective shield from harmful attacking fungi

  1. Through predation of the biofungicide

These biofungicides assail and feed on the harmful pathogen. This is quite useful as it makes the elimination of pathogens easier.

  1. Through building up the immune system of the plant

Using biofungicides stimulates the plant’s own immune defense mechanisms, for it to successfully defend itself from pathogens.

How do you know if it’s time to use a biofungicide?

Biofungicides can’t cure damaged plants. It can only protect a plant from harmful pathogens. Application of biofungicides must be made prior the development of disease.

Early application protects the roots against attacking fungi and boosts development of root hairs.

Biofungicides are used as first line of defense to pathogens. You have to make sure that the biofungicide you use according to the instructions provided by its manufacturer for better results.

Importance of Using Organic Disinfectant for Post-Harvest Agriculture

As crucial it is to achieve an economically rewarding enterprise via the marketing of organic produce before the harvest phase is, it’s also important to make sure that the post-harvest phase is done properly.

The National Organic Program or NOP Rule has been established by the USDA to enforce uniform standards for producing and handling agricultural and processed food labeled as organic. Therefore, it is important that the chemicals used in organic post-harvest operations must comply with the rules set by the NOP. Of course, each produce falls into a different category and each category has its own list of disinfectants.

Post-Harvest Management

In order to have the best post-harvest management quality, it’s important to ensure that you are using an organic disinfectant. A lot of farms and companies use chemicals like chlorine, acetic acid, alcohol, peroxyacetic acid, and other ammonium sanitizers.

Though these disinfectants have been approved, they are still chemicals. Using an organic disinfectant helps a lot in improving the quality of post-harvest management.

Why Is It Important To Use Organic Disinfectant?

You may or may not agree, but organic is always better. It’s all natural and can definitely spare you from the effects of harmful chemicals.  If we can use organic disinfectants instead of bleach, chlorine, or alcohol, it’s definitely worth it!

Interesting references on the topic:

Health effects of chemical exposure:
https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/emes/public/docs/Health%20Effects%20of%20Chemical%20Exposure%20FS.pdf

Effects of chemicals and pesticides upon health:
http://www.chem-tox.com/

On Pesticides and Health:
https://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/pesticides/index.cfm

Agricultural Health Study:
https://aghealth.nih.gov/

How to Avoid Food Borne Diseases

No matter how we choose the food we eat, it’s still possible to get foodborne diseases. It’s important to be keen in our food preparations, but what’s even more important is to be smarter and always keep ourselves informed.

What is a foodborne disease?

According to Wikipedia, a foodborne disease is any illness resulting from the food spoilage of contaminated food, pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or parasites that contaminate food,[2] as well as chemical or natural toxins such as poisonous mushrooms and various species of beans that have not been boiled for at least 10 minutes.

Symptoms vary depending on the cause or type of the disease but mostly, a person may experience nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and dizziness.

How can we avoid these diseases?

In order to avoid foodborne diseases, you need to make sure that you handle your food properly.

For Consumers:

  1. Wash your produce
  • Soak your fruits and vegetables for 5 minutes before preparation.
  • Add a little vinegar when soaking green leafies.
  • Wash the skin of the fruit. If possible, don’t eat the skin.
  1. Cut off at least an inch at the end of hard vegetables like carrots.
  2. For meat, fish, and other shellfish, wash them well with water. Clean it up when you’re done with the preparations.

For Farms and Agricultural Companies:

  1. High-quality post-harvest management
  • Clean up after harvesting.
  • Only use disinfectants that are only approved by the NOA (depending on the category)
  1. Provide a safe and hygienic workplace and ensure proper food handling.

 

 

Newly developed ‘Trojan horse’ molecule might help in fighting crop fungus linked to cancer

A few months ago, researchers from the University of Arizona said that they were able to develop a new method to neutralize a dangerous toxin caused by fungi, that can lead to childhood stunting, cancer, and other health problems. These researchers made a genetically modified, edible maize plant, even when infected with a mold that produces a carcinogenic substance called aflatoxin. ROME – Scientists said on Friday they had developed a new method to neutralize a dangerous fungal toxin affecting crops that can lead to cancer, childhood

Every year, more than 16,000 tons of maize are being thrown because of aflatoxin contamination. In most developed countries, they are able to screen their crops. However, some small farmers do not have the technology to do so. Therefore, people are consuming unknown levels of these dangerous toxins.

This latest research found out that a Trojan Horse molecule can jump onto the fungus and shuts down its aflatoxin production.

In a study published in the journal Science Advances, Schmidt and her team said they had created a genetically engineered maize plant, which produces a “Trojan horse” molecule that jumps onto the fungus and shuts down its aflatoxin production.

Schmidt said the method should be transferable to other crops prone to aflatoxin contamination, like rice, soy and peanuts, as it exploits a naturally occurring biological mechanism known as RNA interference.

For more information, visit this site.

Though the modified corns shouldn’t have side effects, it’s still important to get some testings done.

The Importance of Disinfecting Organic Produce

In the world we live in today, from fast-food to all the chemicals used in creating modern food, we need something organic and natural to live a healthier life. We all know for a fact that we always have to include fruits and leafy greens in our daily diet.

We stick to what’s natural. But how natural is natural? Regardless if we picked our produce from our own backyard or we bought them at the market, it’s important to make sure that our fruits and vegetables are properly disinfected.

Why Do We Need To Disinfect Our Produce?

As much as it’s healthy to eat organic, it’s also important to make sure that what we eat is free from harmful substances. Buying from the market doesn’t really ensure our safety from the chemicals and pesticides used on the produce.

Now, even if we grow our own produce, it doesn’t exactly mean that they are free from pesticides and chemicals. In fact, According to a study conducted in 2002, organically grown food contains up to one-third as much pesticide residue as conventionally grown food  due to drift from conventional farms, as well as contaminated soil. (Food Additives and Contaminants, 2002, vol. 19, no. 5).

Not only that, our produce is not safe from possible fungi contaminants. Some fungi are not visible to the naked eye. The worst part is, some fungi can cause serious diseases such as mycotoxins and aflatoxins.

Mycotoxins are poisonous substances produced by molds found in grain and nut crops. They can also be found on grape juice, apples, celery, and other produce. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations estimates that one fourth of the world’s food crops are affected by mycotoxins.

Meanwhile, Aflatoxin is a cancer-causing poison produced by certain fungi in or on food, especially in field corn and peanuts. Aflatoxins have been associated with different serious diseases like aflatoxicosis in livestock, domestic animals, and humans all over the world.

The prevention of aflatoxin is one of the most challenging toxicology issues of present time.

Therefore, it’s really important to make sure that our produce and the food we eat are safe from those. We need to disinfect them properly and wash them very well before consuming.