Notes to broadcasters
This script discusses several practical steps that farmers can take to reduce the incidence of disease in their crops. Simply by choosing a variety of good farming practices such as crop rotation, diversification and proper soil management, farmers can reduce the possibility of diseases infecting their crops.
Even if you don’t know the name of the disease that is damaging your plants, there are things you can do to stop it from getting worse. And, there are ways to stop your plants from getting diseases in the first place. These are the things that we’re going to talk about today.MUSIC.
Plant diseases are usually carried from one plant to another by insects or by the wind.
There are four major types of plant diseases. They are: fungi, bacteria, viruses, and nematodes.
All four types need several things in order to grow. They need food, a warm temperature, and moisture.MUSIC.
For example, it’s important that plant leaves are able to dry out after a rain. This means that you shouldn’t plant crops too close together. It’s true that cereals such as millet or maize are usually planted closer together, but still, they shouldn’t be overcrowded. If your plants are crowded together and can’t dry out, diseases will spread more easily.
And, take care not to walk in your fields when the leaves are wet. When you walk among wet leaves, you can easily transfer disease from one plant to the next just by brushing against the leaves with your body.MUSIC.
- “Developing a disease free garden.” Agriculture in action. Mar. 1990: 19-20. Barbados Agricultural Society, “The Grotto”, Beckles Road, St. Michael, Barbados, West Indies.
- “How to avoid plant diseases.” Food gardens unlimited. Summer 95: 2-3. Food Gardens Foundation, PO Box 41250, Craighall, Johannesburg, 2024, South Africa.
- Sherwood, Stephen, and Jeffery Bentley. “Rural farmers explore causes of plant disease.” ILEIA Newsletter. Mar. 1995: 20-22. Information Centre for Low-External-Input and Sustainable Agriculture (ILEIA), Kastanjelaan 5, PO Box 64, NL. 3830 AB Leusden, The Netherlands.
- “Non-chemical methods to reduce disease infection on vegetables.” Insect and Disease Control in the Home Garden. 1979-80: 1-2. Ontario Ministry of Food, 1 Stone Road West, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. N1G 4Y2.
- Agrios, George N. Plant pathology. New York: Academic Press, 1978.
- de Guzman, Rebecca. What’s wrong with my plants? A guide to identifying plant diseases caused by pathogens (1987). International Rice Research Institute, PO Box 933, Manila 1099, Philippines.