Practical Manual for Diagnosis & Management of Deficiencies, Diseases & Insect pests
It is well known that “As a scientist you publish a paper and get credit- that is one thing. But the real challenge is when you transfer a technology to the field, where 99 % of efforts fail”. And still further challenge is to popularise the remaining 1% which find their way to the field. It is in this back ground that the CABI (Center for Agriculture and Biosciences International) has vehemently taken up to upscale and strengthen the concept of Plant Health Clinics in association with different institutes in various countries including India. In addition to human resources there is huge requirement to produce and back up literature to smoothly and effectively transfer such technologies which have emerged out of scientific endeavours. This publication, “Plant Doctor – Practical Manual For Diagnosis And Management of Deficiencies, Diseases And Insect Pests” is an electrified tool to fill this requirement. As a manual, it focuses on to help diagnosis and management of deficiency disorders, diseases and insect pests of important field crops based on established knowledge and validated techniques.
This manual comprises elevens sections. The first, deals with soil. With details of types of soils , soil chemistry, it explains how to prepare soil and keep it in living form. The information is greatly helpful to identify soil problems and ameliorate problematic soils and adoption of good practices like reducing tillage, soil compaction, increasing organic matter impact, the cover crops, reducing pesticide use, rotating crops, managing nutrients and maintaining soil health cards.
The second part deals with manures and fertilizers. It explains different types of organic, bio and chemical fertilizers available in the market. Details of secondary nutrient fertilizers and material containing micronutrients required for normal plant growth have also been given along with application methodology information on proportion of each nutrient available in particular fertilizer. The information is highly useful for correction of disorders and nutrient deficiency in plants. Deficiency chart for nutrients and photographic depiction of deficiency symptoms in various crop plants are handy tools for visual diagnostic to help in application of management tips given for each of them. General symptoms of crop diseases have been given with brief but distinguishing features with appropriately selected photographs. In section devoted to virus diseases their intracellular movement by way of plasmodesmata and vascular transport system has been expanded with their spread by insect vectors like aphids, thrips, whitefly, leafhopper, mites and nematodes which make their understanding easy for applying appropriate control measures. Identification of complex bacterial diseases has been made easy with brief explanation of causal organisms like Pseudomnas, Xanthomonas, and Erwinia alongwith epidemiological information and field level management practices. A separate section has been designed on disease caused by Oomycetes such as Aphanomyces, Pythium, Phytophthora, Albugo, Bremia, Pernospora, Pseudoperonospora, Sclerophthora and Sclerospora. The Chapter on fungal diseases has been organised with explanation of somatic structures, sexual and sexual reproduction, survival and dissemination of obligate parasites (biotrophs), necrotrophs and intermediate parasite pathogens. Diseases have been categorised as anthracnose, blasts, blights, leaf spots, wilts, rots, mildews, rusts, smuts an ergots with symptomtology, epidemiology and management practices in bullet forms to delivercrystallized information and recommendations. Diseases of seeds and those carried by seeds of major crops have been listed giving useful tips for their control measures. Twenty two percent insect pests have major share to cause substantial losses. These pests belonging to Orthoptera, Hemiptera, Lepidoptea, Dipthera, Thysanoptera and Coleoptera have been pictorially demonstrated causing various kind of damage and crop loss. Diseases transmitted by insect vectors and nematodes have been dealt with very diligently for understanding of the practioners. Components of Integrated Insect and Disease Management are very well explained to bring home the points that this is the best approach to save crops from various pests and pathogens in modern agriculture. Ready Reckoners of insecticides and fungicides detailing the technical names, type of formulations, brands and manufactures, target pests, dosage etc. are handy information and greatly useful. A general guidelines for selection of fungicides and disease control through growth promoters have added value to this compilation. Information given in various Compendia brought out by American Phytopathological Society has been judiciously incorporated and important tips have been highlighted by giving them in box forms in the manual. Near to the natural presentation of photographic depiction is praiseworthy.
This is a Herculean effort to bring out this unique book of immense practical utility. It is indispensible literature to be used as a Table Book for plant protectionists and kit literature for field workers. Its copies are essential for every Krishi Vigyan Kedera and other such Centres engaged in raising health crops.
Prof. S. S. Chahal
Former Vice Chancellor,
Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology,