Cultural control practices for Fusarium head blight: Problems and solutions
Reduced tillage practices have been adopted worldwide in agriculture. The implementation of conservation tillage, leaving crop residues at the soil surface following the harvest of crops is essential to protect soils vulnerable to erosion, however these practices have contributed directly to the upsurge of Fusarium head blight of wheat and barley. While researchers have made significant progress in the identification and incorporation of genetic resistance, and in the identification and delivery of effective fungicides to cereal crops, Fusarium head blight remains a recalcitrant problem. It would seem that we can not reduce the threat of future Fusarium head blight epidemics without addressing the underlying origin of the problem, Fusarium-infested crop residues. Given the limitations of current agricultural practices, we are challenged to find ways to reduce the inoculum potential of Fusarium-infested residues without removing them from the soil surface.
KeywordsFusarium graminearum crop residues residue decomposition previous crops tillage biological control
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