How Rainfall can increase crop disease outbreak and losses

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maxresdefaultAccording to the definition on the Wikipedia page, “Rain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then precipitated-that is, become heavy enough to fall under gravity. It provides suitable conditions for many types of ecosystems, as well as water for hydroelectric power plants and crop irrigation.”

Instead of the rain helping crops to grow, the rains may lead to their destruction. Several plant diseases are more common during the wet season. Favourable conditions for infection and plant damage include wet and compacted soils.

However, findings show that pathogens (disease causing micro-organisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses) are widespread and persistent in field soils during the season.

Seedling diseases could begin after the planting of the seed and can continue for several weeks. The clue to know that the seedling is already infected by pathogen are, reduced emergence, seedling death, yellowing, or stunting growth. These problems can start when the soil is wet, although may be delayed a week or more after wet conditions occurred. Seedling diseases occur as excessive rainfall and fluctuating temperature create excellent conditions for them.

Wet and flooded soils produced after heavy rains are favourable for soil borne, moisture-loving fungus and diseases. They damage seedlings and even mature plants. To prevent this, farmers must endeavor to check fields for seedling disease, and efficacy of seed treatments.

Normal rainfall would be good, and more would be better, but too much at the wrong time could damage or kill certain plants. Farmers are at risk when there is above-normal rainfall. My advice to farmers is that they should not to expose their farms to flood waters. Also, farmers must observe basic farm safety and sanitation practices to avoid nurturing platforms for the spread of diseases.

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